Chesterton school fundraise for a lifesaver


Monday 29th April 2013 – 11.00am – Suzie Fothergill.

On Tuesday evening (23rd April) Chesterton Community Sports College held a fun filled evening consisting of a charity auction, raffle, quiz, live entertainment and refreshments all in a bid to raise vital funds to purchase a life-saving defibrillator for the school.

Chris Helm, Head of Science has been at the forefront of the defibrillator fundraising campaign after he saw the importance of such a piece of equipment first hand. Unfortunately, last year Chris’ four year old daughter, Leilah became critically ill at their family home in Northwich, Cheshire. Thanks to the family’s quick actions in undertaking CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the fast arrival of an ambulance crew with a defib, Leilah, whose heart had gone into an abnormal rhythm, was saved! 

The school that Chris works at recognised the importance of installing such a piece of equipment on site and the staff and pupils have all rallied round to help raise the funds. The fundraising event proved to be a massive success and managed to raise £2,100; more than enough to buy a defibrillator!

Alongside the fundraising, Chris Helm and five other staff members at the sports college have undertaken HeartStart instructor training and have since taught basic life support techniques, including CPR, to more than 400 pupils at the school.

Talking about the fundraising, Chris Helm said: “We are really pleased with the final amount raised.  I would like to thank everyone who donated prizes and a massive thanks to all the staff who got involved and helped make the night such a great success.  It was great to have the ambulance and fire engine here it really helped to raise the profile of the event.   

“We will deliver the HeartStart course to every pupil again next year, hopefully with the added benefit of defibrillator training too.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service Paramedic, Victoria Tufail who trained the staff in the HeartStart course attended the event in support. She said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service strongly believes that by having defibrillators installed in public places, such as schools and business premises, and having people trained in their use, helps to ensure that the best care possible can be provided quickly and effectively, should anyone ever unfortunately suffer a cardiac arrest.

“Getting schools involved in such projects is vital and provides the opportunity for all children to learn essential vital life-saving skills at a young age. West Midlands Ambulance Service has now helped to train over 4,000 school pupils in the BHF’s HeartStart course which is excellent news. 

“Chris and all the team at the school have done an amazing job raising awareness of the importance of basic life support and defibrillators and have had fun at the same time. The evening event was thoroughly enjoyed by all.”

Staff, pupils, parents, West Midlands Ambulance Service, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the British Heart Foundation representatives all turned out in force to help support the event.

For more information about HeartStart or to  book on to a free HeartStart course please visit or contact the team via or call 01785 23734.


Picture one: WMAs Paramedics with pupils Trudie Montford (left) and Megan Barber (right).

Picture two: Chris (holding the defib) pictured with school staff and representatives from West Midlands Ambulance Service, the British Heart Foundation and Staffordshire fire and Rescue Service.

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