Life-saving tribute to colleague

Stagecoach staff in training.
Stagecoach staff in training.

A life-saving piece of kit has been installed at a Skegness bus station in tribute to a ‘much-loved’ town bus driver after colleagues launched a fundraiser in his memory.

Stagecoach bus driver Paul Farrell died after suffering a heart attack in September last year, aged just 49.

For nine years, he drove on the number two bus service between Beacon Park and the town centre.

Following his death, colleagues and friends decided to raise money for a defibrillator in his memory.

Michelle Hargreaves, Stagecoach East Midlands managing director, said: “Everyone was determined to do their bit to raise money for such an important cause.

“Paul was a much-loved colleague and friend, and people wanted to pay tribute by making a positive difference for the local community.”

She added: “Well done to everyone who has helped with this amazing fund-raising effort.”

The varied fundraising effort saw three bus drivers - Ade Collins, Brad Griffiths and Phil Shooter - have their heads shaved to raise funds.

Speaking after the event in December, Brad said: “Paul was a fantastic bloke and everyone still misses him.

“It’s a bit cold without any hair. I last had it cut about a year ago, but a lot of people have said I look younger, so I might decide to stick with the style.”

More cash was collected for the cause through a company raffle and making loom band models.

A gig by local band No Direction – Stagecoach employees Mark Day, Brad Griffiths, Mick Lymer, Steve Meffen and David Whitehead – raised another £870.

Stagecoach then donated the rest of the funds needed to buy the defibrillator and provide training for 12 of its staff members.

The defibrillator has been positioned at the bus station in Richmond Drive.