South Tyneside children look to save lives in the community with defibrillator fundraiser

Primary school children in Hebburn have been raising money to purchase a defibrillator for the whole community to use to save lives in an emergency.

Before half-term, Toner Avenue Primary School hosted a non-uniform day with pupils with raising £547 - leaving the school with a target of more than £800 to generate in order to meet the £1,400 cost for the life-saving piece of equipment and access box.

This Friday (March 4), the school is hosting a Messy Hair Day, while during the week leading up to Mother’s Day, pupils will be selling pamper products to teachers and parents.

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Year 1 teacher Tracey Finnigan said: “We are hoping to raise the full amount to get the access code box to ensure the defibrillator can be used by the whole community. The fundraising has been a real community effort with the Cock Crow Inn also raising money.

"The idea to fund-raise for a defibrillator came from the children who make-up the school council. We are already nearly half-way there and I’m really proud of them.”

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Council member Maia Stead, eight, was inspired after her uncle suffered heart problems.

She said: “He was on a boat and had a heart attack. They didn’t have a defibrillator onboard and he was rescued by helicopter and taken to hospital. He’s alright now but I think it’s really important older people who live nearby can access a defibrillator.”

Toner Avenue Primary School children are selling pamper products in the run-up to Mother's Day to help raise funds to get a defibrillator installed for the whole community to access.

Fellow Council member Rose Price, 10, added: “I think it’s really important as we are seeing a lot more people having problems with their hearts. I watch a TV documentary about hospitals and you see defibrillators used to save people’s lives. Having one at the school will help keep the community safe.”

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Last year, an emergency incident at St James’ Park saw a defibrilator used on a fan, while a device was also used to save the life of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen.

Laura Bambro, 11, said: “I was watching the match when it happened and it showed just how important a defibrillator can be.”

The money raised from the non-uniform day included two £100 donations from parents. The charity London Hearts has also pledged to donate £300 towards the cause.

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Anyone who would like to support the campaign should contact the school on 0191 420 2588.

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