CUSTOMERS at a York pub have raised enough money to pay for a defibrillator to be installed on the outside wall, giving local residents a better chance of survival if they go into cardiac arrest.

Regulars at the Clifton Hotel in Water Lane sold crocheted toys and then organised a Xmas raffle, and then the son of a regular who died during the first lockdown made a major donation.

About £1,100 was raised, enough to buy both the defib equipment and a cabinet to house it, and Yorvik Electrical Contractors then installed the equipment free of charge, said landlord Bernie Fisher, who said : “This is a real community pub and everyone pulled together.”

A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest to normalize the rhythm of the heart or restart it to try to save their life.There are now more than 10,000 defibrillators across the UK.

Bernie said he’d been talking for years about getting one installed at the pub, but the fundraising finally started last September when customers Joyce Webster, Shirley Ward and Becky Webster started making knitted and crocheted toys to sell.

Then a Christmas raffle was held before Val and Mark Chipchase made a donation in memory of Mark’s father Kevin ‘Chippy’ Chipchase.

Bernie said the equipment was locked inside the cabinet, and the number to release it would be given to someone making an emergency call to 999 in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest in the pub or the neighbourhood.

“We would like to thank Joyce, Shirley, John and Becky Webster for all their help,also to our customers for their donations, and grateful thanks to Mark and Val Chipchase, and special thanks to Yorvik Electrical for installing this machine free of charge,” he said.”This will benefit not only our customers but the whole community.”

Bernie’s daughter Katie Fisher said she was so proud of what had been achieved, adding: “The community will be forever grateful for your fundraising efforts as well as everyone’s hard work and generosity.”Bernie’s niece Hayley Coles said it was an ‘amazing achievement for the community.’