THE installation of a life-saving device has ensured a free running event can be enjoyed by hundreds of people.

A defibrillator has been installed at Tynedale Golf Club to coincide with the introduction of Tyne Green parkrun, in Hexham, last month.

As part of the criteria to allow parkruns ­– weekly runs aimed at boosting participation across all abilities – to be held, a defib in the immediate area is required.

To help fit the bill, Derek Kennedy, Northumberland county councillor for Hexham West, donated £1,500 from his councillors’ improvement schemes allowance for the purchase and installation of the device.

He said: “The germ of the idea for the defib at Tyne Green came about as the plan for the parkrun was coming to fruition.

“The idea is that it will not only support the parkrun and its runners, but it will be used by the wider community who use Tyne Green on a regular basis, such as the golfers, rowers and dog walkers.

“It’s great to have something like the parkrun on our doorsteps, and it builds on the reputation we want people to have of Hexham as a welcoming place.”

The first two parkruns in Hexham have attracted more than 200 runners each, including Coun. Kennedy in the inaugural run, and the event promises to be a big hit with the local community for years to come.

Claire Knowles, an event director alongside Neil Park, said: “We are massively grateful to Derek and it just shows the good will among members of the community.

“We had already raised the £3,000 needed for the parkrun registration and it’s really hard to raise money, so we are extremely thankful for this donation.”