Housing association backs elderly widow’s heartening tribute to husband in Daventry district village

Jon Hern, asset operations manager at Futures Housing Group, Jenni Lowe of Delec, and Margaret Nightingale
Jon Hern, asset operations manager at Futures Housing Group, Jenni Lowe of Delec, and Margaret Nightingale

A housing association has helped a widow celebrate her husband’s memory and potentially save lives.

Margaret Nightingale has lived in Staverton for 39 years and wanted to do something for the local community in memory of Ian, her husband of 44 years, who passed away in 2011.

When Margaret discovered that the East Midlands Ambulance Service was encouraging local parish councils to install defibrillators in their communities, she saw it as the perfect opportunity to celebrate Ian’s contribution to the village.

Determined to see the life-saving equipment in Staverton, Margaret offered to pay for it herself but needed to find somewhere to display it.

It was then that she contacted Futures Housing Group, which manages over 9,100 properties across the East Midlands, to ask if the defibrillator could be installed on the side of the Group’s sheltered scheme in the village.

Futures’ asset operations manager, Jon Hern, agreed and alongside the group’s electrical partner Delec – and with the cooperation of Staverton Parish Council – they arranged to fit and wire the equipment free of charge.

“One of the biggest challenges was finding a suitable location for the defibrillator,” Mrs Nightingale said.

“I was really over the moon when Futures agreed to the installation. I wanted to do something in memory of Ian and to recognise the support the village has given our family since we’ve lived in the village.

“Having a facility like this will be really beneficial for the public and the local school. My family has always tried to give back to the community. Ian and I used to do a lot for the local church and my mother also gave them money to help with fundraising.”

The defibrillator, which can be accessed by anybody living in the village, has been installed on the front of the Futures’ sheltered scheme on Braunston Lane. It covers a range of 500 metres and can provide crucial assistance to people that have suffered cardiac arrest.

Stored in a highly-visible bright yellow cabinet, the defibrillator can be used to give the heart an electric shock to allow cardiac rhythm to be restored. When somebody rings 999, they will be told where the defibrillator is.

“I’ve already been thanked by some of the local residents,” Mrs Nightingale added.

“One neighbour’s 37-year-old cousin was actually saved by a defibrillator after suffering a heart attack last year. I think a lot of the villagers are really grateful to have it.

“There’s going to be a demonstration in the village hall so people know how to use the equipment and I’ll be hand-delivering cards that include tips and advice to every address.

“I hope that nobody in Staverton ever needs it, but if they do, it’s really heartening to know it’s there.”

Jon Hern, Futures Housing Group, said: “We were delighted to be able to help Mrs Nightingale with this tribute to her husband.

“Futures Housing Group is passionate about creating great places for our customers to live in and I’m sure that this fantastic bit of life-saving equipment will provide peace of mind to the local community.”