Haslingden Business’s Parting Gift To Community Centre

by Catherine Smyth Media

LIFE-SAVING equipment has been donated to a community centre in memory of one of its founders.

When Smith’s Medical was closing its Haslingden base there was a defibrillator based in the works and senior facilities engineer Bill Trippier asked bosses if it could be donated to the centre in Crawshawbooth where his wife Jean had worked.

Jean (pictured below) , from Crawshawbooth, suffered a heart attack in December 2011 and died aged just 56. She had been the steward at Crawshawbooth Community Centre for 22 years.

He said: “All of the equipment was being taken out and a lot was going to Ashford in Kent. I emailed the bosses asking if the defibrillator could be donated and within 10 minutes they said it was a brilliant idea.

“I am thrilled to bits. It is a really good idea to make a home for the defibrillator here at the community centre because such a lot of people use the centre.”

Centre co-ordinator Louise Cooper said: “I sadly only got to work with Jean for nine months but she took me under her wing and introduced me to everyone.

“The week before she died she went through exactly how to cook the Christmas meal for all the residents, how much to buy and how to cook it.

“It felt so strange cooking the meal that day for all the residents and Bill and his family and Jean not being there.”

Jean’s name lives on in the building as a room has been named after her.

Louise said: “Jean cooked every Tuesday for the over 50s lunch club and I have kept that going. We fill the café with 25-30 people every week for a three course meal; it is Jean’s legacy.”

More than 200 people use the centre every week from babies and toddlers up to a 90-year-old woman.

Rainbows, Guides, a Yoga class, toddlers, Rossendale Valley Deaf group and Slimming World are just a few of the centre’s user group.

Bill, 64, worked for Smith’s Medical for 22 years and took redundancy when the company relocated to the Czech Republic.

Louise will be training all the user groups so they know how to use the new equipment and Rossendale’s Community First Responders will be loaning a dummy defibrillator for the sessions.

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