A KENDAL primary school has become the first in the area to receive a defibrillator and lifesaving training, courtesy of a local campaign.
Castle Park Primary has been made ‘Heart Safe’, as part of a fund raising effort being co-ordinated locally by a group of Kendal businesswomen.
Many public places in Kendal have defibrillators and there are First Responder groups in most rural areas.
However, of the five secondary schools and 35 primary schools, only three have defibrillators on their premises.
It means 4,278 high school children and 4,959 primary school children plus teaching staff are potentially at risk.
Hand on Heart is a national charity whose objective is to ensure that every school in the UK has a potentially lifesaving defibrillator on its premises. And the Kendal Women in Business (KWIB) group is supporting the cause in the Kendal area by attempting to raise £45,000 to fund an automatic external defibrillator (AED) package for every school in the area.
KWIB organiser Annette Ritson said “The idea is that the training the children receive can be filtered out to friends and family as they share what they have learned, as well as the skills they have gained themselves”
After raising the funds to install the first defibrillator, Castle Park was selected as the first school to receive the grant.
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The premises are also used by a host of local community groups, who would also be able to access the equipment. Hand on Heart supplied a fully qualified AED trainer to train group of children in Year Five how to perform basic life support skills and CPR. Eight members of staff were also provided with training.
The funding also covered the defibrillator, pads and accessories and CPR mannequins for training.
School administrator Janice Murray said: “We are really pleased to be selected as the first school to benefit from this campaign.
“The training for students as well as staff really was an added bonus.
“It was certainly an engaging and lively course and one that the children won’t forget in a while.
“We hope that the benefits will spread beyond the classroom as they share their experience with friends and family.”
Hannah Morris, co-ordinator of the Kendal Hand on Heart Campaign, said “This is the first of many grants we are aiming to provide and we hope to be presenting the next grant in early July.”