The defibrillators - installed thanks to fund-raising by Jayne Allott, family members and friends - are installed outside Tinkers Cafe in Hoyland Road, Hoyland, and the Sacred Heart and St Helen’s Catholic Church in West Street, Hoyland.
Jayne spent time fund-raising for the devices after her husband Phil Allott suffered a cardiac arrest in the Hoyland Catholic Social Club on April 30 last year and had to wait approximately 20 minutes for someone to get a defibrillator to him.
The 58-year-old said she was devastated to lose her husband but wanted to do something to ‘try and stop it from happening again’, so began to fund-raise for the defibrillators in memory of him.
“He died suddenly on April 30 on last year and I was absolutely devastated. I still am,” said Jayne. “I wanted to do something to remember him and I thought getting defibrillators in the community would be a great idea.”
Jayne, family members, friends and members of the community held a charity night at the social club in January and raised more than £3,500.
The fund-raising group were also given more than £500 by the Salvation Army. The fundraiser in January saw a football memorabilia auction which included Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United shirts, a Hoyland Leisure Centre swim pass and a raffle including Barnsley FC tickets. There was also live music.
“We did it at that time of the year as Phil used to be a coach driver and all his friends wanted to come,” said Jayne.
Since the event, the two defibrillators have been installed and are now available for use by members of the public.
“It’s good because people know now they’re there,” said Jayne. “If there had been a defibrillator nearby when Phil had his cardiac arrest, you never know, things could have been different. They are obviously there to be used if needed and it’s great to have them there just in case.”
Jayne said she has the funds to keep the defibrillators running and serviced for ten years.
“Defibrillators are a fantastic piece of machinery,” she said. “The one on the church is Phil’s defibrillator and there’s a plaque for him there. This whole thing is getting recognition for Phil and remembering him.
“I’m still really emotional about the whole thing as I miss Phil every day. He was only 54 when he died, which is young really.”
Jayne said she would not have been able to raise the funds for the defibrillators without the help of many individuals from the community as well as friends, family and neighbours.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped to get these defibrillators here,” said Jayne. “I also want to thank Dale Swift of Swift Electricals who fitted the defibrillators free of charge, Tinker’s Cafe and the church for letting us put the devices there.”
Jayne will be holding regular fundraisers over time to help keep the devices running and in good condition.
“I just hope if it is ever used it will save a life,” she said. “At the moment, a woman from South Yorkshire Ambulance is organising defibrillator training for staff at Tinkers Cafe.
“In the next month and there will be an event in the Hoyland Catholic Social Club as well.”