Wagamama worker who saved customer’s life chosen for Christmas lights switch-on

Gary Spitzer, from the EAAA, presents Daniel Challenor with the award from the Royal Humane Society

Gary Spitzer, from the EAAA, presents Daniel Challenor with the award from the Royal Humane Society Picture: EAAA - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds restaurant manager Daniel Challenor, who saved a customer’s life, has been chosen as this year’s ‘Local Hero’ to switch on the town’s Christmas lights.

Daniel Challenor, who was on his first day at work at Wagamama in the Arc shopping centre, used his first aid training to give CPR to a customer who had collapsed while having a family lunch in June.

Daniel was later presented with an award from the Royal Humane Society by East Anglian Air Ambulance chief executive Gary Spitzer.

In recent years the honour of switching on the Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights has been given to a 'local hero' - someone who is an inspiration to others or has given great service to the town.

Daniel said: "It's an honour to be invited to switch on the Christmas lights and I'm really looking forward to the evening, which should be a lot of fun and a really busy night for the town centre."

The Our Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights Switch On event runs from 3pm on Thursday November 14.

There will be street and stage entertainment and festive fundraising stalls for charities, with the highlight of the evening at 7pm when Daniel, watched by Father Christmas, flicks the switch to light the town up.

Entertainment will continue until 8pm.

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The event is run by the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds.

Chief executive Mark Cordell said: "In the last few years we have chosen someone who is an inspiration to others, with a strong connection to Bury St Edmunds to switch on the lights.

"When we heard a staff member from one of our BID businesses had saved a life in this way, we knew that we wouldn't find a better local hero this year.

"We will be making a donation to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which is Daniel's chosen charity, to thank him."

Mr Cordell said Daniel's actions showed the value of training in CPR and first aid: "Our Bury St Edmunds runs a number of first aid training courses through the year that are free for staff from our member businesses.

"I hope this will also remind people who might be wondering if they should give up a day to attend training like this, why it's such a worthwhile thing to do."

For more information, go to the BID website.