Former pupil donates cash for school defibrillator

Pupils Ryan Williams and Evie Banks with the defibrillator.
Pupils Ryan Williams and Evie Banks with the defibrillator.

Primary school children at a Hartlepool school are to have first aid training after receiving a life-saving piece of equipment.

Throston Primary School recently bought a defibrillator machine, which can restart someone’s heart in an emergency, after a £1,000 donation by a former pupil who is now a doctor.

School staff have been trained in how to use the defibrillator in case of an emergency.

While youngsters will not use it, they will be given basic lessons in first aid techniques.

The funding came courtesy of former pupil Dr Tara Belcher who attended an assembly recently to tell the children how the machine works.

Headteacher Mark Atkinson said: “More and more schools are getting defibrillators.

“It is nice that ours has been funded by a former pupil who is a doctor.

“She gave an explanation to the children about how it works and how many people they save each year.

“The staff have been trained in how to use it and we have got some children trained in CPR.”

The school in Flint Walk received the defibrillator just before Christmas and was mounted on a wall in a cabinet when Dr Belcher came to visit.

As well as being available for use in the school Mr Atkinson said it can also be used by the wider community.

Dr Belcher also gave some money to the school to purchase its new Greta Green Memorial Shield to be awarded at the end of the year to a child who has surpassed expectations in science.

It is named after Dr Belcher’s inspirational head teacher when she was a pupil at the school more than 20 years ago.

Mr Atkinson added: “Tara came from a one parent family with very little money but she managed to go on to a top university and become a doctor.

“If she can do it, anybody can follow in her footsteps.

“The idea of the award is to raise the children’s aspirations and push more children towards science.

“Tara was left money by Greta and wanted to ensure Greta’s memory lives on. Tara told me she would not have become a doctor if it were not for Greta inspiring her to do so.”