How Dolly Parton scarecrow in Fleetwood is helping to save lives

A scarecrow version of country singer Dolly Parton is helping to raise funds for a potentially lifesaving project on the Fylde coast.

By Richard Hunt
Friday, 17th June 2022, 2:29 pm
Updated Friday, 17th June 2022, 2:29 pm

And she’s working ‘9 to 5’ for the cause!

Gill Gallagher, who runs Dolly’s Kiosks snext to Fleetwood boating lake, and pals Helen Crane and Gilly Atkinson have raised funds to buy 20 defibrillators and have them installed in public places across the town and some points in Thornton and Poulton as well.

The ladies, all from Fleetwood, have raised around £25,000 in the space of just one year, by tirelessly staging a series of fundraisers, including psychic nights, pub quizzes and online raffles.

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Photo Neil Cross; Gillian Gallagher with Dolly Parton at Dolly's Kiosk, Fleetwood

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They also trying to raise funds to replace the pads that are needed every time a defibrillator is used, costing £225 for a pack of five.

And that’s were Dolly the scarecrow, complete with Stetson hat and guitar, comes in.

The effigy of the American country music legend, sitting in a chair in front of the ice cream and refreshments kiosks, is helping to promote the pads campaign and raise a few extra funds.

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith (right) with Early Motion Award for fundraisers. from left: Gilly Atkinson, Gill Gallagher and Helen Crane.

Dolly was originally created as part of a scarecrow festival in Fleetwood for the Queen’s jubilee, but Gill decided to keep her for their campaign.

Gill, 50, said: “Dolly is helping raise a few extra pennies for us and is promoting the campaign.

"People stop to ask about her and when we mention our campaign, they’re happy to help.

"Defibrillators are essential because if someone has a heart attack, they need help immediately, before the ambulance arrives, every minute counts.”

A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest, helping to re-start their heart and save their life.

Gill says anyone can use a defibrillator and the device will talk you through what to do step by step, even giving a rhythm for compressions.

The device, once in place, will analyse the heart beat and only give a shock if required so it can not harm anyone.

The impressive work of the trio even led them to receive an Early Day Motion award from Parliament, after Fleetwood MP Cat Smith highlighted their endeavours.

For more information visit the Wyre and Fylde Community Defibrillators Fundraising Facebook page.