Heartstart Thatcham donates to Kennet School following charity closure
A LIFE-saving Thatcham charity which closed last month has donated equipment to Kennet School to help keep its vital skills beating in the town.
Heartstart Thatcham wound down last month after eight years of training people in life-saving skills and installing more than 60 public access defibrillators across the district.
One of these was installed at Kennet School in 2015 and the charity has followed up by donating equipment to train the next generation.
Scheme co-ordinator at Heartstart Thatcham, Dr Nick Young, said: “We first held our initial instructor training at Kennet School in 2013 and have maintained a strong connection with the school ever since.
“Unfortunately, the time has now come for us to close our charity, so we wanted to ensure that our resources went back into our local community as they’ve supported us so much since we first started.
"We have donated this equipment to Kennet School to ensure our legacy continues, training the next generation on how to potentially save a life.
“The Heartstart team would like to thank Kennet School for its support which has, and now can continue to, save lives.”
The charity donated a second defibrillator, five CPR training manikins, an automated external defibrillator (AED) unit, a choking vest used to practice the abdominal thrust manoeuvre, spare lungs for the manikins, keyring CPR face masks and face masks for training, along with sanitising equipment, including hand gel and wipes.
Kennet said that the donations would be put to full use in the school and the second defibrillator will be situated in its Physically Disabled Resource, where some of its most vulnerable pupils spend most of their time.
Headteacher Gemma Piper said: “We are ever grateful for Heartstart’s support over the years, but also their extremely generous donation to the Kennet community.
“The work that Nick and his team have achieved, making defibrillators available throughout our community over the years, is nothing short of exceptional, and we will do our upmost to keep raising awareness.
"On behalf of the community, thank you!”
Heartstart Thatcham said that the coronavirus pandemic had impacted its fundraising and that it had been difficult to find volunteers before the pandemic struck, along with the number of people on courses declining.