‘Stunning’ support sees Bognor town centre set to get two defibrillators

John Howell, Paul Wells, Claire Baker and Richard Johns
John Howell, Paul Wells, Claire Baker and Richard Johns

The town centre is set to get two defibrillators following ‘stunning’ public support.

Richard Johns, of Bognor Regis Lions Club, which has been leading the project, revealed the news at a cheque presentation today.

It saw Tone Zone runners Paul Wells and Claire Baker hand over the £1,650.43 raised by undertaking last month’s Brighton Marathon – which got a generous boost from North Bersted resident John Howell.

These funds, coupled with other donations, mean one defibrillator is due to be installed outside the high street Boots branch and another is in the pipeline.

“It is a pleasure seeing the community helping itself. We [the Lions] are a conduit and for some reason this has sparked something,” said Richard.

“I have been astonished at the response we have had.

“Boots have been incredibly helpful on this, it is just because of their refurbishment that it is not up there now. At the latest, next Thursday it will be at the pharmacy counter.”

Richard said the Lions plans to mark this, its 100th year, by installing the life-saving devices across the south east, work he added wouldn’t be possible without local support.

“The more we raise the more we will install,” he pledged. “We can’t have too many. Each has a 200 metre radius so the one at the Regis Centre isn’t sufficient for the Bognor town centre, even with this one it isn’t sufficient.”

Described as ‘the bees knees’, Richard went on to explain how the device is designed so it can be used by anyone, ‘they just need the courage to do it’.

Paul and Claire said they were ‘very proud’ with the results of what had been ‘a tough run on a hot day’.

John’s £1,000 contribution is just the latest in a string of charitable donations to local causes.

He said it was prompted by having ‘some loose money’ when he retired and his experience as a first aider.