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Red Sky Foundation raises school run safety awareness after Sunderland pupil hit by car

A Sunderland primary school has joined forces with a city charity to encourage increase children’s fitness and improve school run safety after a pupil was hit by a car.

By Kevin Clark
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 1:47 pm

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Congestion has been an increasing problem around St Mary’s RC Primary in Meadowside and shortly before half term a female pupil was knocked down.

Thankfully she has since made a full recovery, but now head Martin Clephane has teamed up with heart health charity Red Sky Foundation to encourage more parents to walk their children to school.

The Foundation was set up by parents Sergio and Emma Petrucci after their little girl Luna – a pupil at St Mary’s – underwent life-saving heart surgery when she was little more than a baby.

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Initially raising money for the Children’s Heart Unit in Newcastle, it now also funds defibrillators and promotes cardiac health.

Sergio, Mr Clephane and Red Sky volunteer Chris Smith joined Foundation mascot Miss Beats to walk with the children from the car park at the nearby Barnes Toby Carvery, which has agreed to provide school run parking for parents.

They will be making the walk throughout June so parents can get into the habit of getting some exercise and helping to prevent any accidents.

Mr Clephane said children’s safety was paramount to the school: “We are trying our best to ease traffic at school and children will be able to get some extra steps in and hopefully prevent anything happening again,” he said.

Sergio leads the way

"Our children’s safety and their education is of most importance to us, exercise is good for our hearts and we’ve all really enjoyed our first day of trying out the initiative with Red Sky Foundation.

"Miss Beats brought a real buzz into school and the children, parents and staff who took part thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Sergio Petrucci said walking to school helped prepare children to perform well in class: “Just setting off a little earlier on the school run can help raise our heart rate, feeding our brains and vital organs with more oxygen – so children can go into school ready to learn.

"Its so important children learn from an early age about healthy living and healthy hearts and we hope other schools see this today and can adopt the idea.”

Ready to set off from the Barnes car park

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Sergio with Miss Beats and St Mary's pupils and staff