Fund in memory of Tom Parsons, 22, pays for life-saving equipment

Fund in memory of Tom Parsons, 22, pays for life-saving equipment

Fund in memory of Tom Parsons, 22, from West Heslerton, pays for life-saving equipment (From Gazette & Herald)

A FUND set up in memory of a popular rugby player is providing vital life-saving equipment.

Tom Parsons, 22, from West Heslerton, died while on holiday with friends on the Greek island of Zante last August.

His parents, Nick and Sue, set up the Tom Parsons Trust to support the local community, and have now provided three defibrillators at different locations, with plans for a fourth.

Sue said: "With the funds we have raised we have been able to buy three defibrillators - one for West Heslerton Village Hall, and the others at the Derwent Arms in Norton and Royal Oak in Malton, which has yet to be installed.

"Norton Railway Club also recently held a bingo evening and gave us £861 towards a fourth."

Sue said they had wanted the defibrillators at key locations where they could be easily accessed when needed.

"These are community defibrillators have been provided through the ambulance service for members of the public to use," she said.

"When someone dials for an ambulance they will be directed to where the nearest defibrillator is.

"The one at the Derwent Arms had only been in place a few days when there was an incident, but fortunately an ambulance got there first, but it just shows how much they are needed.

"Having access to a defibrillator quickly could help save lives."

The Tom Parsons Trust has so far raised more than £11,000 through various fundraising events, including a Stars in Your Eyes night at the Derwent Arms and the Perm Cup, an annual football match.

"People have been very generous with donations and Tom's friends have also done a lot of fundraising with future events, including a sponsored bike ride and fun day at the Royal Oak at the end of June."

Sue said they were grateful to everyone who had supported them, including Drew Scot and Sam Hall, who put the defibrillator up, and Stuart Collins, who provided the cabling.

"Eventually we will put a plaque up at near each defibrillator so the connection is made with Tom," she said.

"This is a legacy for Tom and a way of giving something back to the community which has been so supportive to us during this difficult time.

“We are overwhelmed and very humbled by the support for this event and would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved and all those who have donated. We really appreciate it."

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service is holding an awareness evening at Norton College on Tuesday, April 25, at 6pm, which everyone is welcome to attend and find out more about community defibrillators and how they work.