A new defibrillator has been installed outside a Darlington ice cream parlour along a popular cycling route by a defibrillator charity which installs devices across the region.

Newton Aycliffe charity Missed A Beat unveiled their latest public defibrillator on Thursday (May 17) outside Archer's Ice Cream Parlour on Walworth Road in Darlington.

Founder Mark Preston began the charity after close friend Darren Scott died following a medical emergency while playing football for Cobblers Hall FC in February 2022.

The Northern Echo: Defibrillator installed by Missed A Beat at Archers Ice Cream in Darlington.Defibrillator installed by Missed A Beat at Archers Ice Cream in Darlington. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Since then, Mark, aged 50, has worked tirelessly to install and give out defibrillators to sports teams and place them in publicly accessible places.

Mark said: "It all started when around two years ago, two young people did a coast to coast ride for the Missed A Beat charity. Their grandad approached me and said their cycling club wanted to make a donation to us.

"But what I wanted to do with that was put a defibrillator in a place along their route in case there was a crisis."

Mark then looked around for a suitable spot for the defibrillator and decided on the Walworth Castle area as there are "a lot of cyclists" there.


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He then approached the ice cream parlour and dug the foundations himself and enlisted help from local businesses; finally unveiling the life saving kit with Susan Milburn, Rebekah Parker, Sue Archer and Jane Akers in a ceremony this week.

Also at the unveiling was a special guest Leo, aged 8, - who is set to tackle the the junior Great North Run later this year to raise funds for Missed A Beat.

Mark added: "It was great to see the community pull together for this."