Stalybridge pub’s defibrillator tribute to lost friends

A STALYBRIDGE pub’s regulars have made a brilliant tribute to lost friends by raising funds to have a defibrillator installed.

Customers at the Old Hunters Tavern, on Acres Lane, have come up with a four-figure sum in as many weeks after Christine Evans floated the idea.

Now a defibrillator is installed in its beer garden and they will pay for servicing and upkeep after an emotional treason for starting the push.

The life-saving equipment and touching plaque in memory of absent friends – photo by GGC Media

Christine said: “My new year’s resolution was to get a defibrillator in memory of lost friends. I mentioned it on a night out and said, ‘Would anyone help me?’

“They said yes and we started. We did a Christmas jumper day raffle, just to see how it went. Our next raffle was on New Year’s Eve, everybody donated a prize.

“We raised quite a lot, then we did football cards. Alex and the bar staff did a load of selling of them – and another customer, Wendy, donated signed Nigel Benn boxing gloves. They raised more than £250.

We met some of the regulars that helped raise funds for the defibrillator at the Stalybridge pub. GGC Media

“Every 12 months it needs servicing. So we said we’d be responsible for that and the upkeep of the machine.

“When it comes to servicing it, we’d do more fundraising. It was my dream and this lot have smashed it.”

Christine was ably assisted in the fundraising effort by Jane Broadhurst, who said: “Everyone’s been so supportive.”

And Lorraine Blondon, landlady of the pub for 15 years, said the community formed in it has come good – even the fitting was done by customers for free.

She said: “Christine and Jane must’ve been talking because there had been a few regulars who’d passed away at home – and a few who passed away with heart attacks, three in total.

“So they said, ‘Why don’t we raise money for a defibrillator?’

“When I got back from holiday, they’d started doing the fundraising, doing raffles and football cards. All they took to raise the money was four weeks!

“It’s a bit of a community here, so they’ve been doing the football cards and half of the time, the prize money was donated back!

“At Christmas, we always do a raffle for a hamper, donating the money to whichever charity I decide but because we went away at the beginning of January, the money was in the safe because I’d not decided.

“When they said they were doing the fundraising, I said, ‘You might as well have the £200 from that.’”

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