A brewary has installed defibrillators in over a quarter of its pubs, including Bolton

Following a yearlong appeal to raise money for the life-saving devices, 36 pubs - including the Hare and Hounds in Stoneclough - owned by the Joseph Holt brewery, have the vital equipment.

And members of the North West Ambulance Service have now met with Joseph Holt pub managers and their staff at one of its popular pubs, The Woodthorpe in Prestwich, to  mark the £53k donations which made this initiative possible. 

Mark Norbury, Joseph Holt pubs director said: “Can there be any better way to support the surrounding community than literally installing a device that could make a difference between life and death?”

The 173 year old independent brewing business, which has been in the same family for six generations, places a strong emphasis on its pubs being at the heart of the communities they serve. 

During the 12-month appeal, Joseph Holt reached out to customers to help raise money to supply devices to as many pubs as possible.

Mark added: “Our pubs are often placed in the heart of communities and as such are a focal point for so much more than somewhere to, say, enjoy a beer.

“Charity is so central to what we do.

“And by installing defibrillators we can help save lives which might otherwise be lost.

“Having one in a local Joseph Holt pub will only increase the reach of these vital pieces of machinery.”

The installed machines are linked to `The Circuit`– the British Heart Foundation`s defibrillator network - which provides a nationwide overview of where the devices can be found. 

Numbered amongst the pubs which have installed the life-saving devices are The Fiveways in Stockport and the Half Way House in Blackpool, the first to install defibrillator. 

The devices work by delivering a shock to restart a heart after it stops beating following a cardiac arrest. 

Community resuscitation development officer at North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Jo Thwaites said: “It has been a pleasure to be able to support in such a fabulous venture. 

“To fundraise such a great sum of money in order to equip 36 Joseph Holt pubs in the North West with a community public access defibrillator is a remarkable achievement and we congratulate everyone involved for making this happen.

“The patrons and staff should be very proud of their fundraising efforts and for undoubtedly making their communities safer. 

“In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, time really does matter.

“For every minute that someone's in cardiac arrest without receiving CPR and having a defibrillator used on them, their chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent.

“By ensuring this equipment is available and taking the time to attend our basic life support awareness sessions, the staff at Joseph Holts are as prepared as they can be to assist should they ever need to.” 

Quick access to a defibrillator could be the difference between life and death, according to The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

Some 30,000 people in the UK each year have a cardiac arrest out of hospital, and NHS data shows just 18.5 per cent of them survive.

If a defibrillator is used within the first vital few minutes of the heart stopping, it improves the chances of survival.