Amazing defibrillator fundraisers hand over latest device to Fleetwood school - their tenth in just six months

A Fleetwood primary school is the latest location to be included in an impressive campaign to provide lifesaving defibrillators across the community.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 4:22 pm
Sharon Cliff (left), acting head of Larkholme Primary School, with school parent Helen Crane (centre), Debbie Atkinson, chairman of governors and two pupils, as Helen presents a defibrillator to the school.

Since last July, Fleetwood women Helen Crane and Gill Gallagher, supported by pal Debbie Atkinson, have raised enough funds to have no less than 10 defibrillators installed at various locations around the town.

Already one of these devices has been used in a serious health incident in the town.

A defibrillator gives an electric shock to the heart of someone suffering a cardiac arrest and can help save their life, especially as the first few minutes after the attack can be vital.

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The latest device was presented to Larkholme Primary School, on Windermere Avenue in Fleetwood, but the the school says it has been registered with the ambulance service and can also be used to help people in the area, not just the school itself.

So successful has the women's campaign been that they are now busy fundraising to obtain some defibrillators for Poulton as well.

Rebecca Sims, deputy headteacher at Larkholme Primary School, said: "We were delighted to receive a defibrillator from these amazing ladies.

"Mrs Crane is one of our school parents and Mrs Atkinson is our chairman of governors and this will benefit not only our school but the surrounding community.

"When there is an emergency incident involving someone having a heart attack, the ambulance service will direct the caller to the nearest registered defibrillator.

"We have trained First Aiders in the school who know how to quickly use the defibrillator and it also works well with our curriculum - the pupils know about the importance of the defibrillator and parents waiting outside school know we have it here too."

Helen Crane and Gill Gallagher originally only wanted to raise funds for just one defibrillator close to Fleetwood’s boating and model yacht lakes.

The pair knew the area, close to where Gill runs Dolly’s Beach Kiosk on The Esplanade, was particularly busy in summer, yet the nearest defibrillators were too far away in the event of an emergency.

They were prompted to raise money when an elderly visitor fell ill and was wrongly thought to be having a heart attack.

They set the target of raising £1,600 via online raffles on their Facebook pages - but they ended up raising more than needed and just kept going with their amazing campaign.