A Bury St Edmunds school’s efforts on National Wear Red Day could help save lives in its community.
Money raised during Sebert Wood Primary School’s ‘wear red day’ last month was due to go towards buying a defibrillator for the school - something inspired by one of its pupil who has congenital heart disease.
But the East Anglian Ambulance Service has now provided one for free, so the money - around £360 - will instead go towards purchasing an outdoor box for the unit to make it available to the wider Moreton Hall community.
Further funds are needed as the box costs around £540 and even more will be required to pay for the electrical works needed to ensure the device stays charged.
Amanda Prentice, 37, of Moreton Hall, had been campaigning for a defibrillator for Sebert Wood for some time and has often spoken out about the importance of having a unit ‘in every public place’.
Her seven-year-old daughter, Lucy Bluett, underwent open heart surgery before her first birthday and, though her health is currently ‘really good’, she tires easily after a long day and will need further surgeries in the future.
Amanda said: “Cardiac arrest in the young is really quite common and it’s an increasing problem. And, with Lucy having heart disease, that’s what made me think we need to have something in place in case anything goes wrong with her.”
She added: “The time it takes for somebody to work on another person, in terms of CPR, all those minutes are vital and to have something in place that could save somebody’s life, and have it right there, is also vitally important.”
The defibrillator arrived last week and a few school staff have already received training on how to use it.
Peter Dewhurst, headteacher of Sebert Wood, said having Lucy as a pupil had ‘heightened’ the school’s awareness of the problem.
On getting defibrillator, he said: “It’s reassuring to know we’ve got it. Hopefully we won’t ever need to use it but it’s there if we do and it’s there for the community.”
Not yet sure where it will be placed, he added: “It’ll be in a visible place near the front of the building, so it will be clear to the community.”
To help boost funds, Amanda has organised a sponsored pizza eat at Pizza Town, in Bury, next Sunday (March 29).
Around 15 participants will face the challenge of eating a 14 inch pizza and side dish during the event, where the first to finish will receive prizes donated by local businesses including Fish ‘n’ Chick’n and Bury Bowl.
“I’m hoping it will be good fun and will raise plenty of money,” said Amanda.