Campaign to save lives in Sowerby

A life-saving campaign launched by Sowerby Bridge Rotary Club has smashed its initial fundraising target.

The Tree of Lights campaign aimed to raise enough money to install a publicly accessible defibrillator in Sowerby Bridge town centre.

Now there are not one but four defibrillators installed around the town in public places, with another one due to be put in Sowerby Bridge railway station over the coming months.

Hazel Brindle, of Sowerby Bridge Rotary Club, said: “I was worried silly that we wouldn’t even raise enough money for one defibrillator. I find it incredible that the people of the local community have taken the campaign to heart and been so supportive.”

As well as generous pledges from the public, the Tree of Lights campaign has also received £1,000 from supermarket chain ASDA, which will go towards another life-saving unit.

Ms Brindle said: “In a way I hope they’re never needed, but one day they might save a family some heartbreak.”

Defibrillators can be found in the town at Number 2 Warehouse, Russel Hawdon architects, Carlton Mill and Stones Church in Ripponden.

The fifth defibrillator will be unveiled next month at Sowerby Bridge railway station to celebrate the station’s 175th birthday.

John Spikings, a local ambulance crew member said: “What the Rotary Club have done is unbelievable. Sowerby Bridge is now a heart-safe town.”

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service will hold a familiarisation session in the town on November 4 at 5.30pm at The Works, and anyone is welcome to come along and learn how the defibrillators work.

The Rotary Club have grand plans, and will continue raising money to install even more machines.