COUNTLESS lives could be saved in Banbury thanks to the sterling efforts of a local solicitors' firm on behalf of the Lions Club of Banbury.

The town's second-ever public access defibrillator, nestled in a bright yellow box, was unveiled in Horse Fair on Tuesday by staff from Spratt Endicott.

It can be used by any member of the public, regardless of training, after calling 999, to potentially save the life of someone going into cardiac arrest.

At the event earlier this week Town Mayor Colin Clarke joined charity champions to formally declare the £2,000 electronic device ready for use.

It follows the installation of Banbury's first defibrillator in Market Square in 2016 after years of concerted fundraising by the Lions.

Club president Ian Wilson said: "The staff at Spratt Endicott have a charity of the year and last year they heard we were fundraising for defibrillators.

"They did an absolutely amazing job raising a huge amount of money; they've even raised funds towards the next one."

Defibrillators involve using two adhesive pads to deliver an electric shock to the heart, allowing its rhythm to return to normal.

If someone has a cardiac episode in public people around them should call 999 to receive a code from South Central Ambulance Service and open the box.

The device will then 'talk' them through the process through an automated voice, videos and pictures, and will only deliver an electric current if it is needed.

Mr Wilson added: "It's almost identical to the other one and about the best you are going to get for a general member of the public to use.

"It's a great location here, right in the centre by the taxi tanks where you get a lot of footfall, and from now the Lions will do weekly maintenance checks."

The Lions Club supports a number of charitable initiatives in Banbury every year.

A training session and talk on the importance of defibrillators has also been held at Spratt Endicott by national campaign the Community Heartbeat Trust.

Spratt Endicott accounts department manager Sara Cross, who originally suggested the team support the Lions last year, said: "It seemed a worthwhile thing to do.

"We had a casino night, lots of cake sales, dress-down days, raffles and quizzes.

"Eventually we opted for the public conveniences in Horse Fair; we wanted it fairly near our office and it's a social area in the centre."

Extra money raised has also already been put towards a third defibrillator for Banbury town centre, which has yet to be placed.