A café in North Yorkshire market town, Richmond has pledged to raise enough money to fund the purchase and installation of a community defibrillator, after reaching a third of its original fundraising goal within just half an hour of beginning its campaign.

Morro Lounge has been a firm supporter of charity, Heart of Richmond, since its inception and has now decided to dedicate June to raising funds through a series of challenges as well as a raffle which is being supported by generous fellow businesses.

Conor Roberts, general manager will be completing a virtual bike ride to Bristol and back (the location of the first Morro Lounge) totalling 600 miles, Tom Coates-Trewhitt, Head Chef will undertake 12 hours of CPR on a training dummy, and Rebecca Smith, Supervisor is braving a sky dive – all to raise vital funds.

Morro Lounge head office has also confirmed that it will award a further £1,000 donation to the venue which raises the most money for its chosen cause – further spurring on the team!

Heart of Richmond was founded in 2022 by ex-forces family man, Lee Whitworth who owns A&E Harmonious Compliance Training Limited with his wife, schoolteacher Alison as well as being a volunteer community responder, alongside Laura ‘Loo’ Morton and husband Dave from Neeps & Tatties.

According to the British Heart Foundation, in the event of cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by 10 per cent. In the last 12 months, the charity has seen the installation of nine defibrillators in the town, with two more awaiting installation and pledges from another two companies. Those, combined with the one being supported by Morro Lounge, would take the total to 14.

Lee Whitworth said: “The support from our local community has been inspirational. From corporate donors to individuals, local businesses taking collection tins and people donating their time to help make this happen, we’re truly in a position where we can provide vital equipment to save many, many lives.

“On behalf of Heart of Richmond, I’d like to thank everyone for their support, and a special thanks to Morro Lounge for this huge undertaking.”

Morro Lounge’s raffle will be drawn on 30th June, with tickets available from the café. Prizes have already been donated by local businesses Little Drummer Boy, The Turf Inn, Sip, The Buck Inn, JB Beauty, Sunitras Thai Restaurant, Richmond Brewing Company and A&E Harmonious Compliance Training, and further donations are welcome.

The charity is supported by its founders mentioned above, as well as installation by Jason Hammond from HSF Steel, graphic design from Richard Hickman at Lime Lizard Design and PR & social media from Lizzie Turner at Peachy Digital.

This project is entirely funded through donations which can be made by businesses and individuals, with details available at https://www.facebook.com/HeartofRichmondNY/.