Belfast Telegraph

M&S donating £12,500 to buy defibrillators for all Northern Ireland stores in memory of Matthew Thompson

Matthew collapsed and died while jogging on the Lagan Towpath

By Laura Abernethy

Retail giant Marks and Spencer will donate £12,500 to fund the purchase of defibrillators for all Northern Ireland stores in memory of one of their store managers who died suddenly last week.

Matthew Thompson (39) was jogging on the Lagan Towpath on Saturday when he collapsed and died from an undiagnosed heart condition.

His girlfriend Lauren McCaughtry (28) had launched a fundraising campaign to buy a defibrillator for the path to stop another family going through the same devastation.

Read more: 'My soulmate Matthew Thompson (39) died while jogging - now I want to raise cash for defibrillator to save another family from this devastation'

M&S head of region Ryan Lemon announced that they would also be launching a fundraising campaign in memory of Matthew.

Ryan said the money would go towards buying a defibrillator for all the stores in his region of Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

They need to raise £25,000 to buy 19 devices and M&S have now vowed to match the £12,500 that Ryan hopes to raise through a justgiving page.

Matthew had worked for the company for 16 years while Lauren works as a regional visual manager.

Ryan said: “Matthew met his true love Lauren while working together in M&S. Lauren our regional visual manager has inspired us to do something good from this terrible tragedy.

“Matthew's personality was as infectious inside of work as it was outside, his wicked charm, humour and personality would always brighten up a room.

"He was always first and last in with a pun. Matthew always left you with a smile.

“In honour of Matthew's memory we want to install a defibrillator in every M&S store in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. We will also train first responders in every store.”

A crowdfunding page has been set up and has currently raised almost £3,000 of the £12,500.

This is in addition to over £4,000 raised by Lauren in memory of Matthew.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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