WHEN it is a matter of life or death, the wait for the ambulance can feel like an eternity.

But in Bourton, a piece of lifesaving equipment is not far away, thanks to a fundraising campaign by dedicated residents. Since the appeal was launched in March, £3,000 has been raised towards providing two defibrillators in the centre of the village.

Money was raised from events including a zumbathon by Cotswold Zumba, a flower show at St Lawrence’s Church as well as donations from the public, business community and parish council. One device has already been installed outside the Croft Restaurant, in Victoria Street, while another has been ordered. Donna Holland, owner of the Chester House Hotel, who led the appeal, said the defibrillator had already been called upon three times since it was installed last month.

“We’ve had three separate incidents where people have collapsed and fallen over in Bourton for whatever reason and the defibrillator has been called for,” she said. “It was great to know even though it wasn’t needed it was seconds away from us.

“They are very worthy pieces of equipment. I hope we don’t have to use one but if you did they are a lot closer.”

Carol Teece, chairman of Bourton Chamber of Commerce, said she was staggered by the response to the campaign.

“In all the years I’ve been involved in charity I’ve never see anything like it,”

she said. “The response we’ve had to the defibrillators has been fantastic.”

Bryan Sumner, chairman of Bourton Parish Council, said: “We’re very pleased the donated money from the parish council has been used to support this worthy cause.”

  • The village already has defibrillators in the Cotswold School, the Hacklings industrial estate and the Station Road car park.