Village's festive memorial tree will help raise funds for defibrillator
A new festive memorial tree has been unveiled in Albrighton as the village aims to raise money for a much-needed defibrillator.
Located outside The Harp Hotel, the 14ft tree will proudly display over 110 acrylic discs that can be personalised to remember a loved one that is no longer here.
At £3 each, more than £330 will immediately be raised towards the life-saving equipment that is set to be securely stored in a nearby telephone box – just a few seconds from the pub.
The fundraising drive is being led by Joan Cockburn of Cucumber PR and Liz Bryce, landlady of The Harp Hotel, the latter sharing a personal interest after her partner Phil suffered his own mild heart attack earlier this year.
“There are three defibrillators in the village, but all of them are over 500 metres away - and that could well be the difference between saving a life or not,” explained Liz.
“We came up with the idea of a memorial tree to remember all the friends and family that are sadly no longer with us, and were delighted when Black Country Ales agreed to cover the costs.”
She added: “It will be a real focal point during the festive celebration and something we are considering making permanent in the future. The immediate focus, however, is on raising more than £2,500 to fund a defibrillator and protective case, and the tree will get us off to a flying start.
“All people need to do is pay £3 for a memorial disc and then, using a special pen from behind the bar, personalise it with their message.
“There will also be buckets in the pub, whilst Albrighton Parish Council are in talks about providing us with a donation. We’ll also be looking for local businesses to get behind the drive.”
The memorial tree will be one of the main attractions of The Harp Hotel’s second Christmas Market this Saturday.
More than 30 stalls, featuring crafts, cakes, woodwork, and gifts, will be present, along with a Jamaican food van, Oregano Pizza, Christmas carols from St Mary Magdalene’s Choir and live music from Annie Mai.
Money will be raised for Albrighton Food Bank and Compton Care, with locals able to take part in a raffle that could see them win up to £500 of festive treats.
Beth Lane, assistant manager at The Harp Hotel, concluded: “A village pub is a very special place, and we want to give something back to the community that supports us all year.
“The Christmas Market will be a great way to start the festive season and will raise lots of money for our two charities and the defibrillator that we desperately need down our part of the high street.”