OUR Jack’s appeal has received more than £8,000 in donations since launching in late January this year, with schools continuing to be presented with heart defibrillators.

The Argus has teamed up with the parents of Oakdale teen Jack Thomas, who died suddenly from a possible arrhythmia of the heart in February 2012, aged just 15.

The aim of the campaign is to provide heart defibrillators to every secondary school in Gwent and the Rhymney Valley, by working alongside charity Welsh Hearts who are supplying the potentially life-saving machines. Three have already been given to schools – to Newport High, Newbridge School and Blackwood Comprehensive.

Generous Argus readers and local organisations continue to donate towards the cause, with Bargoed Town Council among the latest to do so, having exceeded their budgetary limit to give £1,000 towards the appeal.

Cllr Tudor Davies, leader of the town council, said: “Normally we would only give out grants of up to £500 but this is something very, very special and it was a unanimous decision from the members.

“If it helps even one child, then it will have been worth it, but it’s important to have [the defibrillators] available in schools. Our money will be going towards having one at Heolddu Comprehensive, which is great to see.”

It comes following Gelligaer Community Council’s donation of £2,000 towards the appeal, with the money being split equally between Lewis Girls’ School and Lewis School Pengam.

Ceri Mortimer, clerk for the council, said: “It was unanimously voted in. It was something that took our attention and we all thought it was worthwhile. It’s life-saving equipment and it’s worth it even if it saves one life.”

Heolddu Comprehensive School will be presented with their defibrillator on July 10, while Trinity Fields School and Resource Centre will be the next school to be presented with a defibrillator earlier that month (July).

Various fundraisers continue to raise money for the appeal with a charity walk up Snowdon and a cycle ride in Scotland having taken place over the weekend.

* There is now an easier way for Argus readers to donate by going online to welshhearts.org/jacksappeal.

Otherwise, people can donate by sending cheques payable to Welsh Hearts, to Temple Court, 13a Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9HA. Put reference “Jack Thomas defibs appeal” on the back of the envelope.