Life-saving Wigan park kit installed

Milliken representatives, Neils family members and Couns Rehman and Cullen. Lynn is second from right
Milliken representatives, Neils family members and Couns Rehman and Cullen. Lynn is second from right

A defibrillator has been installed at Wigan’s town centre park by the sister of a man who died at last year’s colour run.

Lynn Harrison unveiled the vital piece of life-saving kit in Mesnes Park in memory of Neil Rigby.

Despite defibrillators’ being available nearby, Lynn felt there was a delay in getting the necessary help to her brother.

Following his death she worked with local councillor Phyll Cullen and Wigan Council’s corporate land management team to get the device put in place in the Pavilion Cafe which has now happened thanks to a generous donation from Wigan-based textiles firm Milliken.

Lynn said: “I’ve grown up coming to Mesnes Park and wanted to make a difference to others who use it because there’s a lot of events and activities that take place here. I’m hoping there isn’t a need for the defibrillator to be used but at least it’s another step taken to hopefully prevent another family going through what we have.

“My goal is to install defibrillators in other places that need them including public buildings and schools. I’d be keen to work with the council to achieve this but at the moment, I’m happy with what we have managed here and I’m sure Neil would be proud.”

Council green spaces employees will be trained to use the defibrillator along with volunteers from the Friends of Mesnes Park and cafe employees. Lynn herself bought the plaque and box the defibrillator sits in.

Coun Nazia Rehman, portfolio holder for resources, finance and transformation, said: “Lynn and her family should be extremely proud of this achievement, which has come following sad and unfortunate circumstances.

"They have turned their experience into something positive and potentially life-changing for another person. We will support Lynn and others to make positive changes so we can do what we can to prevent another family experiencing the same situation.”