NETWORK Rail has provided a community café with a defibrillator in memory of one of its former staff members.

Olive Tree Café, located in the Manor Garden centre received the long-awaited device thanks to a fundraising effort from Network Rail in the wake of a colleague’s death from a heart attack.

After around nine months, staff at Network Rail raised enough money to buy two defibrillators – one for Colerne Rugby Club and a second which was presented to volunteers at the Swindon café this week.

“We are a busy community café and this new defibrillator will benefit us as well as other locals as there aren’t any defibrillators around there,” said café manager Phyllinda Richards.

“We received a donation from Network Rail and they are really supportive, taking part in some of our events.

“We have been raising money since last October and we will be using the money to buy a box for the defibrillator. We’ve raised £450 so far and we still need £150 more to reach our target.

“It’s a privilege for us to be part of the memory and the legacy of their colleague and we would like say a huge thank you to Network Rail for enabling this to happen.

Recently, the volunteers at Olive Tree Café realised how important it is to have a defibrillator within easy reach after one of TWIGS’ clients fainted.

“We called the ambulance and the first question the paramedics asked is if there was a defibrillator,” said Phyllinda. “The client is fine, but we decided that next time we will say that we have one.

“Jo-Coulson is one of our customers and a first aid trainer who encouraged us to get a defibrillator.

“She wanted to help volunteers feel confident when it comes to use one. She has been working with us for a few years now.”

A spokeswoman at Network Rail said: “A colleague of us who played rugby in Swindon died from a heart attack, so we decided to raise money for the club he was playing for and luckily we raised enough money for two defibrillators.

“We decided to give the second one to Olive Tree Café.”

To support the café visit The café is open from 10am-3pm from Monday to Saturday and 11am-3pm on Sunday.