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Councillor grants pay for life-saving defibrillator

A defibrillator has been installed at Holybourne Theatre thanks to grants from two local councillors.

The life-saving machine costs almost £1,000 and would not have been affordable without the contributions.

Holybourne Councillor Graham Hill granted £550, and Whitedown Councillor Ginny Boxall granted £250 toward the purchase, with Holybourne Village Association putting in a further £175.

The funds were taken from the Councillor Community Grant Scheme which gives every EHDC councillor £4,500 to spend on local projects.

Holybourne Theatre is community-run and welcomes more than 4,000 visitors a year for performances and workshops.

Bob Yelland, Holybourne Theatre Treasurer, said the management team has been keen to buy a defibrillator for some time.

“We are extremely grateful to the councillors and Holybourne Village Association for their support. Although we hope never to use it, having our own defibrillator brings peace of mind knowing that we are prepared,” he said.

“I believe every public building should have its own defibrillator, they are straight-forward to use and can make a huge difference to someone’s life. I would like to thank both councillors for their enthusiastic support on this project and making it happen.”

The defibrillator has been placed in the new foyer and is available to visitors to the theatre and members of the public when the theatre gates are open.

Cllr Boxall and Cllr Hill made contributions to the cost of the defibrillator by dipping into their Councillor Community Grant scheme.

All councillors are allocated a budget of £4,500 every year to support voluntary and not-for-profit organisations within their ward.

Cllr Ginny Boxall said: “Holybourne Theatre does a terrific job in the community and deserves our support in everything it does. When they approached me to ask for help in buying the new defibrillator I was only too happy to help.

“I am delighted to make this contribution from my councillor grant fund.”

Cllr Graham Hill said: “These really are life-saving devices and just having one on the premises gives us all peace of mind.

“The minutes after a heart attack can be crucial in determining whether someone makes a full recovery so I thrilled to have played my part in this project.”

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