A lifesaving piece of equipment has been stolen from a church in Whitefield in a "thoughtless" theft. 

Yvonne Moore, chair of the Old Hall Park Residents Association, discovered a defibrillator had been taken from outside Stand Unitarian Chapel on Ringley Road.

Members of the association raised funds to install the device, at a cost of around £2,000, on the wall of the church in April 2019 and had recently replaced both the children's and adults pads at a bill of around £100.

Bury Times: The empty defibrillator cabinet at Stand Unitarian ChapelThe empty defibrillator cabinet at Stand Unitarian Chapel (Image: Yvonne Moore)

The device, which was checked on a regular basis by members of the association, was believed to have been taken some time in June.

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Yvonne said: “My husband, David, who died recently from cancer, worked extremely hard with the other residents to raise the money, to purchase the defibrillator, knowing that it could save someone’s life.

Bury Times: The defibrillator was located at Stand Unitarian ChapelThe defibrillator was located at Stand Unitarian Chapel (Image: Google)

“We didn’t lock the cabinet because we didn’t want people to need to phone emergency services for the code, we decided after a long deliberation that we would leave it open.

“It is very sad that somebody stole something that could save lives.”

Yvonne added that she believed it would be difficult for the association to raise the funds for another defibrillator, due to a lack of funding and increased cost of living, which she expects would affect donations.

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She hoped that the incident would serve as a warning to other people with defibrillators to consider keeping them locked.

“If my husband was still here, he would be saddened by this thoughtless, selfish act,” she added.

"It will be difficult to raise the funds necessary to provide a replacement.

"The police and the ambulance service have been informed, and if anyone has any information regarding the theft, please would you contact Whitefield or Bury police.”

If you have any information contact police on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.