Former phone box transformed to house life-saving equipment

Andrew Williams, in whose memory a defibrillator has been dedicated in a phone box in Skeyton. 

Andrew Williams, in whose memory a defibrillator has been dedicated in a phone box in Skeyton. - Credit: Supplied by the family / Skeyton Parish Council

A red phone box in the north Norfolk village of Skeyton has been given a makeover which might just save someone's life. 

The project to install a defibrillator at the phone box was part-funded and dedicated to the memory of Andrew Williams, who died last year aged 56.

Andrew Williams, in whose memory a defibrillator has been dedicated in Skeyton. 

Andrew Williams, in whose memory a defibrillator has been dedicated in Skeyton. - Credit: Supplied by the family

Mr Williams's sister, Julie, said Andrew was "a much-loved son, brother and friend to many people" who loved spending time outdoors, walking, taking photos and birdwatching. 

She said: "He was caring, thoughtful and very funny."

In his younger years Mr Williams was a park keeper in east Manchester, where he developed a love of nature and explored the Pennines on foot.


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He began visiting the north Norfolk coast in the 1980s and moved to the county in 2004, living at Blakeney and later Briston.

Mr Williams worked in social services, initially with children and then with people of all ages who needed support to stay in their own homes. 

Inside the phone box which has been concerted into a defibrillator station in Skeyton. 

Inside the phone box which has been concerted into a defibrillator station in Skeyton. - Credit: Supplied by Skeyton Parish Council

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He retired early due to an illness but continued to volunteer with Holt Caring Society, driving people to hospital and doctors' surgeries.

He died on November 24 last year, four days after suffering a heart failure whilst out walking.

Julie said: "His final gift was to donate his kidneys and liver to three people who, thanks to him, now have a chance of living a long and healthy life."

Inside the phone box which has been concerted into a defibrillator station in Skeyton. 

Inside the phone box which has been concerted into a defibrillator station in Skeyton. - Credit: Supplied by Skeyton Parish Council

Diane Fields, Skeyton Parish Council clerk, said the council heard Mr Williams' family wanted to help fund a defibrillator after they contacted the charity Community Heartbeat Trust.   

Mr Williams' family contributed £2,065, North Norfolk District Council paid £648 towards it and the remainder was covered by the parish council. 

Skeyton local Phil Davison restored the telephone box, which is at the junction of Felmingham Road and Swanton Abbot Road.

Mr Williams' family also donated money to the Norfolk Ornithologists Association - who put it towards a set of steps at Walsey Hills in Salthouse, and the British Heart Foundation in his memory.

In May 2021 he and twin brother Michael had planned an exhibition of photos and paintings at Salthouse Church, but this was cancelled due to Covid and will now take place in October 2022.


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