Phone box gets a new role saving lives in South Shropshire village

A traditional red phone box has a new lease of life housing a defibrillator after a community drive to raise funds.

The phone box at Onibury
The phone box at Onibury

One of the lifesaving heart start devices has been placed in the telephone box next to the Apple Tree Public House at Onibury.

It has been funded by the community in the village.

During July 2021 Pat Giles, Jan Giles and Lisa Owen, the volunteers who organise and run ‘Onibury Original Quiz Nights’, began to raise funds to purchase a defibrillator for their community. They were motivated to undertake this project by both national and personal events that had taken place.

They received support from the Parish Council and donations from the community made through the funding platform ‘JustGiving’.

Jan said “we were utterly overwhelmed with the amount of support we received and how quickly we managed to reach our fundraising goal, allowing us to purchase the defibrillator and cabinet.

"Our community was completely behind us and we had individuals coming up and telling us what a great cause this was and that they were happy to support and donate. Their generosity was tremendous.”

Lisa said “we believed the telephone box was an excellent and central location for the defibrillator.

"Not only had it already got an available electricity supply but also made use of the underused kiosk, and through The Community Heartbeat Trust Charity we adopted the telephone box and were even able to source free paint

to ensure the kiosk is maintained.”

Signs will be displayed on both sides of Onibury village indicating where the defibrillator is;

The defibrillator has now been made live on the ambulance’s CAD system and is available for use.

Pat said: "Although we hope than no-one is in a position where they need to use the defibrillator, we are grateful that this vital piece of life saving equipment is in our village, and could not have done this without the support of every single person who donated.

"The next step will be to organise an awareness session and details will be advertised when the time and date are confirmed. Although training is not necessary to use the equipment, as it is self-explanatory and the machine includes a video screen showing step by step instructions, the awareness session will help people to feel more at ease with the equipment and encourage use if needed."

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