Matlock: Life–saving kit in memory of council worker

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A new life–saving piece of equipment has been installed in a leisure centre thanks to the fundraising efforts of a former council employee.

Arc Leisure Matlock has been presented with a new defibrillator in member of Peter Wood, a member of the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s parks team and chauffeur for civic events, who died aged 47 as the result of a brain tumour.

Friends Phil Griffiths and Julian and Pam Salt have worked with Peter’s widow Wendy to raise cash to fund a memorial tribute to Peter.

To get the fund started, Phil, of Matlock, walked 85 miles in under 24 hours by tackling the notorious Isle of Man Parish Walk. The fund has risen to £3,700 over the years and the brand new defibrillator will accompany a memorial plaque – marks the first official presentation, with more to follow.

Phil said: “Peter was a great bloke. We were close friends –you could always have a laugh with him and when the illness came it really was a bolt out of the blue. After visiting him in hospital I was determined to do something to ensure his name lived on – that’s why Julian, Pam and I set up the Peter Wood Memorial Fund.”

Phil added: “We’ve looked at various ways of spending the money and a defibrillator that has the potential to save lives here in Matlock was soon top of the shopping list.”

Wendy commented: “The district council link is really appropriate because Peter worked there from leaving school. He was really well known in and around Matlock and would have been delighted to put his name to a life-saving aid that can benefit the local community.”

District council chairman Councillor Carol walker accepted the equipment on behalf of Arc Leisure.

Cllr Walker said: “I want to express the council’s sincere thanks to Phil, Wendy, Julian and Pam for their tremendous work in Peter’s memory.”