VILLAGERS in South Oxfordshire have installed a new defibrillator after raising nearly £3,000.

Residents of Sydenham near Thame have converted a disused telephone box in the centre of the village into the home of the life-saving equipment.

Gilly Harrison started the fundraising drive after attending a first aid course.

She said: “They were showing us how to use a defibrillator and I thought that this would be a really good thing to have in the village, seeing as we’re quite small.”

The fund was kickstarted after Ms Harrison, assisted by Siobhan McKee and Fiona Kermack, applied for £500 from money raised from the village fair.

The rest of the money was raised from a car wash, quizzes, cake stalls and coffee mornings.

Ms Harrison said: “In this world of ‘I’m too busy’, it was wonderful to see the community spirit pull together and make time to raise money for an extremely worthwhile piece of equipment.

“We put it to the villagers to raise the money and we thought it would take ages but we got the whole thing done and dusted in just a few weeks.”

BBC TV presenter and Sydenham resident Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes unveiled the defibrillator last month.