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Appeal for lifesaving phone box in Southwold

PUBLISHED: 09:20 14 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:20 14 November 2013

Southwold Mayor  Simon Tobin with the red telephone box that will be placed in the town with a defibrillator.

Southwold Mayor Simon Tobin with the red telephone box that will be placed in the town with a defibrillator.

©Archant 2013

People in the Southwold area are being asked to dig deep to help fund a telephone box with a difference.

Plans are being made to install a traditional red kiosk that will house an emergency telephone line and a defibrillator.

The box has been acquired to replace an aluminium telephone kiosk on the corner of High Street and Victoria Street that has been out of service for the last nine months.

But the full cost of the emergency project is £3,500 and organisers need a further £2,000 to pay for it.

Mayor of Southwold Simon Tobin said: “We are still looking for £2,000 to make it happen and are asking the community to step forward and help if they can because it is a superb project.

“What it actually does is give the town a defibrillator service 24 hours a day.”

The defibrillator will be securely locked in a box inside the kiosk. There will be a direct line to an operator, who will establish if it is a genuine emergency and give the caller a code to open the box.

The defibrillator comes with audio instructions to guide the operator through the process of using it correctly.

Mr Tobin said the defibrillator could potentially save a life.

He added: “In the event of someone being incredibly poorly, if someone was to administer standard first aid resuscitation there is a five per cent chance of survival.

“With a defibrillator this rises to 50 per cent.

“We are talking about using it at the point where we are potentially going to lose someone.”

Mr Tobin said the red telephone box was believed to 50 years old and would be more aesthetically pleasing than the existing metal structure.

He said: “It really fits in with the image of Southwold. The previous telephone box hasn’t worked for nine months and is not providing any kind of service.

“It is adding to the amazing services that we have in Southwold and, at the end of the day, for a relatively small amount of money it could save a life.

“We are hoping that a benefactor could step forward to help support this amazing project but whatever people can give will be gratefully received.”

The East of England Cooperative Society has donated a defibrillator worth £1,000 to the project.

Further funds are needed to connect electricity to the phone box and set up the direct line to the emergency operator.

■To donate funds, contact the town council on 01502 722576, or call into Southwold Town Hall between 10am and 12 noon, Monday to Friday.

■Are you working on a project to benefit the community? Email NewsDesk@archant.co.uk.

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