PARENTS and teachers at St Maxentius CE Primary turned daredevils to raise money for lifesaving equipment for their school — and others in Bolton.
Parents who abseiled 60 metres down the Bell Tower at the Trafford Centre rejoined their team mates for a special assembly to celebrate the results of their efforts as a defibrillator was presented to the school. A team of 15 took part in the abseil in September and raised £3,500 — enough for Bolton ICD to provide St Maxentius CE Primary and four others with the essential equipment.
Parent Joanna Jowett, one of the organisers said: “I am training to be a nurse and this equipment will make a massive difference to the school and the community — it could save a life. Defibrillators really should be everywhere.” She added: “Taking part in the abseil was scary, I had never done anything like that before. We had around 100 parents supporting us and when we finished they all cheered, it was quite overwhelming.”
Headteacher Clare Bennett said that all staff would be trained in the use of the defibrillator and all children at the school were taught first aid skills. She said: “I am proud of the teachers and parents who were extremely brave taking part in the abseil.”
Representatives from Bolton Wanderers Community Trust demonstrated first aid techniques and how to operate the defibrillator.
Parent Mike Ormrod, who works in social care, said: “This piece of equipment is priceless, it is a huge asset and a lifesaver. The department for education should fit these defibrillators in schools, there are around £800 which is not a huge cost.”
Tracey Wilkinson said that in just 13 months, money had been raised for 23 defibrillators. She said: “Bolton is doing well in equipping schools with defibrillators, I would have been pleased if we had raised five, but we have 23. The idea is to ‘pay it forward’, with schools we donate money to, holding fundraising events to raise money to put a defibrillator in another school.”