COUNCILLORS who bought a disused phone box for £1to store medical equipment have been offered a redundant NHS defibrillator.

Lartington Parish Council launched a fundraising campaign to buy a defibrillator, at a cost of around £1,300, after it purchased the redundant village phone box from BT.

Whilst other villages in Teesdale have access to the equipment, which delivers an electric shock when someone is suffering a cardiac arrest, Lartington, near Barnard Castle, was unable to buy a defibrillator as it had no village hall to base it in.

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Ian Jerred, parish clerk, said: “The ready support of kind-hearted residents means that this dream is now much closer to reality – albeit with an unexpected twist.

“The village has been offered a redundant NHS defibrillator.

“Although there will be some refurbishment expenses and a clear need to plan for the long term, this may be the short term fix that really kick starts the project.

“As importantly, generous donations from several local residents will help to give the project a secure financial base.

“The parish council still faces considerable expense in the refurbishment of the kiosk, a secure box to house the equipment, training sessions and ongoing maintenance.

“This is a big challenge for a small council – a challenge made much easier by the evident enthusiasm and generosity of local residents.”

Councillors will work with the North-East Ambulance Service to provide training when the equipment is installed and BT will maintain the electricity supply to the phone box for the next seven years.

To make donations towards the initiative, email