LIFESAVING equipment has been installed in a town centre thanks to two organisations committed to improving their community.

When members of Crook Rotary Club discovered there were no defibrillators available in the town 24 hours a day, they were keen to rectifying this and set about raising funds to buy the machines.

They also applied to the Three Towns Area Action Partnership (AAP) for a grant and were delighted to receive almost £4,000 towards the project.

Added to the £965 the club had raised there was enough to buy two defibrillators, with some cash to spare which will be put towards a third defibrillator once the Rotarians have raised the shortfall.

Last week, members of Crook Rotary Club and the team from the Three Towns AAP held a ceremony outside of Addisons Chartered Surveyors in the Market Place, where the first defibrillator has been installed.

The other device is located on Belle Vue at the Willington side of town.

John Oulton, chairman of Crook Rotary Club, said: “I live in Weardale where there are defibrillators in towns and villages up and down the dale.When I had a look into how many there are in Crook, which can be accessed 24 hours a day, I found there were none.

“As the local rotary club I felt that we should be able to do something about this, and thanks to the AAP we have managed to buy two defibrillators.

“Projects like this are so important because this equipment can save lives.”

A defibrillator is a device that is used to help someone in cardiac arrest. It provides a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall and is an essential life saving step.

Sandy Denny, co-ordinator of the Three Towns AAP, said: “We were very happy to support the rotary club in funding this equipment, which has the potential to save lives in our area.

“Partnership work like this is what the Three Towns AAP is all about. It is about working alongside a variety of organisations from all different sectors to boost the community and improve the lives of residents.”

The AAP funding was provided through the Capital Small Grants Fund. To find out more how the AAP can support projects and community groups, contact threetownsaap@durham.gov.uk or call 03000 267 539