A local housebuilder has donated £500 towards the maintenance of new defibrillators in two West Lancashire villages.

Jones Homes made the contribution following a successful fundraising effort by Rufford resident Angela Bruce-Konuah to provide new defibrillators for Rufford and Holmeswood.

Recognising the desperate need for defibrillators in rural areas, Angela launched an appeal in memory of her mother Joan Bruce – Konuah, who passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in September 2015.

The appeal raised £6,417 towards the cost of buying and installing the two defibrillators, which became operational in January. Some of the money was also used to refurbish the disused phone box on Highsands Avenue in Rufford so it could house one of the lifesaving pieces of equipment. The other is located outside Holmeswood Methodist Church on Chapel Lane.

The project received huge support from the local community, with contributions being made by various charitable organisations such as the Douglas Valley Lions Club, Rufford Lodge Freemasons, Tesco Bags of Help, Rufford Women’s Institute, AEDdonate, as well as Rufford Parish Council and local residents.

In preparation for the Rufford defibrillator to be installed, the phone box was sandblasted by New City Cleaning Services and the glazing was completed by Gareth Whittle Brickwork.

The donation provided by Jones Homes, which has two developments in Rufford, will cover the cost of replacement batteries and pads for the defibrillators, reducing the financial burden on the local community for future maintenance.

Angela said: “The last few months have been a difficult but fascinating journey. The community has really come together to help get this project off the ground, and I am so happy that we are now at a stage where we have the funding to manage and maintain these defibrillators for years to come.

“The BT phone box was such an important part of our community and it was important to me to save it from being decommissioned. I thought that by utilising it to house one of the defibrillators, this would not only give a new life to the phone box but would also be a great way to remember my mum.

“I wanted to give something back to the community and hopefully inspire others to do the same in their own communities. This project has already inspired another campaign which has seen another defibrillator installed on Rufford Park.

“I am really proud of what I have achieved with this project; this has been quite the journey with lots of doors knocked on, leaflets delivered, and phone calls made.

“I am extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed towards the appeal to buy the defibrillators and refurbish the BT phone box, and to Jones Homes whose donation will ensure these lifesaving pieces of equipment will be maintained for the next 10 years.”

Carol Barlow, Sales Director for Jones Homes Lancashire, said: “Angela’s campaign to save this much-loved phone box and give it a new lease of life as a defibrillator has been absolutely inspirational.

“She has worked tirelessly to ensure that this lifesaving equipment is available to everyone in the village and we are proud to make this contribution towards the upkeep and maintenance of these defibrillators for years to come.”

Jones Homes recently completed construction work at the Roseacre Gardens development off New Road and is now building at Hesketh Reach off Liverpool Road. For more information visit jones-home.co.uk.