Primary school ready for any emergency

Members of the community and staff at Bernard Gilpin Primary School with the defibrillator.
Members of the community and staff at Bernard Gilpin Primary School with the defibrillator.

A Wearside school is ready for emergencies - thanks to big-hearted fundraisers.

Bernard Gilpin Primary School staff are ready to move into action with a new defibrillator if someone has a heart attack.

Our school is right at the heart of our community

Andrew Bainbridge

The school opens its doors to the community almost every day and having the equipment will give everyone extra peace of mind.

A donation from a local choir, Voices Together, enabled the school to purchase the defibrillator and train staff in its use.

The Houghton school is used by the very young and older people in the area with projects such as Bernard Bear’s Toddlers group and the Living Room, which caters for people suffering from dementia.

Bernard Gilpin Primary School building is also used by a range of sporting groups.

Headteacher, Andrew Bainbridge, said: “Our school is right at the heart of our community and we are delighted to have this piece of life-saving equipment and we are very grateful to Voices Together for the donation that enabled this.

“Many of the school staff have refreshed their first aid training, including upskilling themselves in the use of a defibrillator.”

Maureen Hope, secretary of Voices Together, said: “Our choir has raised just short of £40,000 over the last few years and donated many thousands of pounds to local, national and international charities and groups.

“Following our AGM we agreed that equipment such as a defibrillator would be a welcome addition to a school well used by the community – we contacted Bernard Gilpin and we are delighted they too were very keen to have a defibrillator.”

School staff have been working with the North East Ambulance Service, taking their advice on the most appropriate equipment and ensuring ambulance crews are aware of the defibrillator on the premises should it be needed in an emergency.