Jayne Allott spent time fundraising for the devices in Hoyland after her husband Phil Allott suffered a cardiac arrest in Hoyland Catholic Social Club in April last year and had to wait approximately 20 minutes for someone to get a defibrillator to him. He died following the cardiac arrest.
Jayne said she was devastated to lose her husband but was determined to do something in memory of him, so along with her family members and friends, the 58-year-old raised enough money to install two defibrillators - one outside Tinkers Cafe in Hoyland Road, and one outside the Sacred Heart and St Helen’s Catholic Church in West Street.
“Phil died 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 fundraising group were also given more than £500 by the Salvation Army.
And there was also an aucion of football memorabilia, doughnuts, a Hoyland Leisure Centre swim pass and a raffle including Barnsley FC tickets.
“We did it at that time of the year as Phil was a coach driver and all his friends wanted to come,” explained Jayne.
Since the event, the two defibrillators have been installed and are available for use by members of the public.
“It’s good because people know 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 to keep them 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 and family, including her neighbour Nicki.
“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 either are ever used, they will help save a life,” she said.