A DODGEBALL tournament and a non-uniform day are just two things being considered by pupils, to contribute to an Argus-backed appeal to raise cash and get defibrillators into every secondary school in Gwent.
Risca Community Comprehensive School’s council heard from June Thomas about her campaign “Jack’s Appeal”, set up in memory of her son Jack, who died age 15 when his heart suddenly stopped in February 2012. The Argus is backing the campaign to get a defibrillator into every school in Gwent, along with charities Welsh Hearts and SADS UK, and is urging businesses and schools across the region to help raise £23,000 to fulfil this ambition.
At present six of Gwent’s 31 secondary schools (excluding the Rhymney Valley) have a defibrillator at school, although some share sites with leisure centres that own one.
A defibrillator couldn’t help Jack, as he had no heart rhythm, but it could save others, Mrs Thomas said
“If someone suffers a cardiac arrest there should be a defibrillator,” she said
Head teacher John Kendall told the pupils he had “massive respect” for Mrs Thomas. He said the school may buy its own defibrillator and pupils could still contribute towards the fundraising.
The pupils unanimously said they wanted to support the campaign. Kain Morris, 15, said: “I like fundraising and I’ve done some before for my rugby club.”
Mr Kendall told the pupils: “People listen to young people if they are united. This could save lives and show we are a caring school, as well as supporting Jack’s mum.
“Our main task has been to raise awareness,” he said. “You’re one of the first schools to get the ball rolling.”
l Each defibrillator costs around £1,000, which means the Argus needs to raise at least £23,000 to fulfil the aim.
To donate, make cheques payable to Welsh Hearts and send them to Temple Court, 13a Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9HA, or directly to Newsdesk, South Wales Argus offices, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP20 3QN.
Please write ‘Jack Thomas defibs appeal’ on the back of your envelope.