Villagers’ appeal fund success

A defibrillator being presented to the Eagle and Child pub. From left: Rob Sharples from the NHS, Rob Caddock, Pete Owen, pub manager Derek Garland and Peter Peers from Billinge Football Club
A defibrillator being presented to the Eagle and Child pub. From left: Rob Sharples from the NHS, Rob Caddock, Pete Owen, pub manager Derek Garland and Peter Peers from Billinge Football Club

A village pub is now home to life-saving medical equipment after a fund-raising campaign involving musicians from the borough was successful.

Fund-raisers hit the right note as they successful got together enough money to buy a defibrillator to put in the Eagle and Child in Billinge.

Pub manager Derek Garland wanted to bring the vital equipment, which can shock a heart which has suffered cardiac arrest into re-starting, as he previously worked in Horwich where several watering holes had them.

Local band The VC got involved as one of their members lives in the area and the musicians helped the team at the pub put on a family-friendly fun day which raised enough on its own to buy the defibrillator.

The campaigners are now looking to save lives at the other end of Billinge by raising money for a second one to be installed somewhere along Main Street.

Pub manager Derek said: “It was an idea I had because quite a few pubs in Bolton had them but when we came over here we realised there was nothing available.

“I thought there may be a need for a defibrillator and we had a fun day to raise money.

“I just think it could save somebody’s life, so it could be priceless. Hopefully it never gets used but if it does come to that it’s here for people to use.”

The day, which featured music on two stages with a line-up including local bands The VC, Secondson and Lyon Road as well as acoustic artist Tim Rouse, raised around £930.

There was also a bouncy castle, barbecue and entertainment both inside and outside the pub for all ages.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has added the Eagle and Child’s defibrillator to its list so NHS employees are aware it is there to be used in emergencies.

The trust is also arranging two training sessions so Billinge residents can learn how to use the new kit for free.

Musicians spoke of their pride at being able to support such a worthy cause.

Pete Owen from The VC, who helped organise the fun day line-up, said: “It was a great day and a real family festival. The pub was packed to the rafters.

“It was a great cause and it’s good to get asked to be involved in local fund-raisers. I put a post out on Facebook and gathered all our friends and the usual crew together and we put on a full day of entertainment.

“We’re now trying to buy a second defibrillator so we can have one in both Lower Billinge and Upper Billinge.”

The NHS will be running sessions on how to use the life-saving equipment at the Eagle and Child on October 11 and 13, with more to follow if there is demand. Both training events will start at 7pm and last a couple of hours.

To find out more or book a place, ring Derek on 01744 892453.