A life-saving campaign has been launched to convert an old red telephone box near Horsham town centre into a new defibrillator station.
It is being spearheaded by Horsham nurse Andrea Ward and backed by Horsham Community Responders.
Andrea, who works in the intensive care unit at East Surrey Hospital, has set up a crowdfunding appeal to raise £3,000 to enable the project to go ahead.
The telephone box is situated opposite M&J News at the junction of East street and Denne Road in Horsham and is in a poor state.
BT are currently de-commissioning a string of old red phone kiosks throughout the county and Sussex Heritage Trust has already called for more people to save them and convert them for other uses.
Mum of four Andrea, 48, says she hit on the idea of converting the box in Denne Road by chance. “It started off purely with me saying ‘Ooh, look there’s an old phone box. It could have a defibrillator in it’,” she said.
“Defibrillators make all the difference when the heart goes into critical rhythms as your chance of survival can drop by up to 10 per cent per minute without the intervention of CPR and these potentially life-saving pieces of equipment.”
Horsham Community Responders supports establishing defibrillators that can be accessed quickly in the event of collapse and has already funded and installed them at the Millennium Hall, Roffey, Pavilions in the Park, Horsham council offices at Parkside and at the Drill Hall in Denne Road.
Responder team leader Marc Harrold praised Andrea’s funding campaign and said: “It’s great when members of our local community step forward to support us and help fundraise to place potentially life-saving defibrillators in public places like this telephone box.”
The Responders have also already sourced funding and donated defibrillators at Warnham Nature Reserve, St John’s Church in Springfield Road and Tanbridge House School.
Others are about to be set up at Chesworth Farm, Victory Road Cricket Club, Horsham Cricket Club and Horsham Bowls Club.
Responders also loan out spare equipment to local shops so that they can act as temporary defibrillator sites.