The Friends of Bentham Station (FOBS) seek to involve the community in all they undertake. Their annual January coffee morning, held in the Town Hall, attracted around 100 local residents and visitors. It gives an opportunity to share details of the latest projects but also raise valuable funds for their activities. This year £340 was raised towards providing a defibrillator at the station for the benefit of those living and working nearby and those travelling on the Bentham Line.
With a £1000+ funding target in mind for the defibrillator, the members of FOBS decided to hold a quiz and pie & peas supper evening in early March which raised a further £320 for the project. A very entertaining evening was had by all 50 quizzers with a superb locally-made supper enjoyed at half-time. Northern, the train operator, generously provided travel prizes, not only for the quiz winners but a raffle and completion. Its success has encouraged the FOBS volunteers to hold further quizzes in the future. Unfortunately, along came Covid-19, so the winners have yet to enjoy their prizes.
During April three envelopes arrived at the station each containing a kind and generous donation to the defibrillator project: a £300 cheque from a local couple, followed by one from the Bentham Line Dancers group for £100, with a third donation of £100 from a project supporter. This brought the total raised to £1,160 and will cover the cost of the defibrillator, a cabinet and initial replacement supplies.
FOBS are looking to participate in ‘£999 Defibrillator Scheme’ run by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity.
The friends group at neighbouring Clapham station and their Parish Council, along with the Wennington and Tatham Parish Councils, have also indicated that they would like to site defibrillators at their stations. The Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership has agreed to cover the cost of appropriate and reliable electrical installations at all three stations, whilst Northern will support the on-going running costs of the machines.
With existing defibrillators at Leeds, Skipton and Lancaster stations the CRP would like to support their installation at all stations along the Bentham Line.