Early in 2020 both Clapham-cum-Newby Parish Council and the Friends of Bentham Station (FOBS) approached the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (LMCRP) with a view to installing a ‘public-access’ defibrillator at their station.
The LMCRP was delighted to support their initiatives and offered to meet the costs involved in the installation of the defibrillator safes and the appropriate electrical connections. The project was also warmly welcomed by the train operator, through Northern’s East Area Stakeholder Team.
Both installations are an extension of the networks of defibrillators within in the two parishes. As well as supporting greater numbers of residents and visitors within the local communities, they will be able to support the passengers and staff who travel along the Bentham Line.
The funds for the defibrillators and their waterproof enclosures were obtained through community initiatives. Clapham’s funds were raised through an initiative organised by the Parish Council. In contrast FOBS went to the heart of the community, it’s residents, to raise their funds.
FOBS donated the takings from their annual Coffee Morning at Bentham Town Hall and backed this up by holding a local Quiz and Pie and Peas Supper evening which soon brought the total raised to well over £1,200. Clear evidence that there is good to come out of mushy peas. Their funds for the project were also boosted by generous donations from several individuals and another local charity.
The LMCRP would like to thank Northern and ISS for their help in arranging and undertaking the installations and electrical connections. The Clapham installation took place in January 2022 and the Bentham installation was completed at the beginning of March, with the Clapham unit sited on the platform fence on the carpark side and the Bentham unit on the wall adjacent to the main entrance on the Leeds platform. The ‘What3Words’ locations are for Bentham, ‘becomes.digs.situates’ and for Clapham, ‘puns.resources.vets’.
Access to the defibrillators is gained via an emergency 999 call which will also alert the ambulance service.
FOBS and Clapham Parish Council will now oversee the weekly inspections of the defibrillators and their heated safes, as well as raising further funding for replacement batteries, contact pads and other supplies for the operation of the machines. They will also look to raising awareness of the defibrillators and encourage residents and rail staff to undertake training on their use.
Colin Price, Chairman of Clapham-cum-Newby Parish Council commented, “This is a great outcome when the Parish Council can work with the Community Rail Partnership alongside Northern and ISS ,as we are so fortunate to have a railway station and a good efficient service”.
Gerald Townson, Chairman of FOBS and the LMCRP added: “It is always extremely pleasing to see projects develop by with efforts of volunteers from within the communities along the line and consequently place a local emphasis on the work. A big thank you to all who have helped and supported these initiatives.”
Those involved in this local project are pleased to see that Northern has also begun an initiative to install these life saving machines at their larger stations.
There are already defibrillators at Lancaster, Skipton and Leeds stations and there are other units within a short distance of the stations at Wennington and Cononley. The LMCRP would be delighted to see a chain of defibrillators linking the communities along the line. Should any voluntary organisation or council within the parishes served by the Bentham Line wish to introduce a defibrillator at their station please do get in touch with us at the LMCRP.