Seaham schoolgirl who dreams to be doctor raises money for school defibrillator

A schoolgirl dreaming of becoming a doctor has raised £1,071 money to supply and install a defibrillator in her school.

By Hayley Lovely
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 1:25 pm

Claudia Collings, a pupil at St Mary Magdalen RC Primary School, in Seaham, decided to raise money for the life-saving equipment due to her own dreams of becoming a cardiologist when she grows up.

The 11-year-old was passionate about turning her idea into a reality before leaving primary school and heading off to secondary school in September.

She did her research and learned the Department for Education has a discounted scheme that makes it cheaper and easier for schools to purchase a defibrillator.

St Mary Magdalen's R C Primary School pupil Claudia Collings, 11 fundraised to get a defibrillator fitted at the school with help from headteacher Andrea Goodwin, mother Eloise Collings and Prof Michael Norton.

Claudia reached her initial target quickly, so she kept going - and has now raised enough for not only the defibrillator, but has been able purchase a heated, external cabinet so that the local community can benefit as well.

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The schoolgirl had a meeting with Cardioproof, a non-profit organisation which works to improve survival from sudden cardiac arrest, to start the project and which provided support during the fundraiser, as well as a £200 donation.

Claudia said: “I am fascinated by hearts and how they work. I wanted to raise money for a defibrillator for my school because I know how important it is to get to a defibrillator quickly in an emergency.

St Mary Magdalen's R C Primary School pupil Claudia Collings, 11 fundraised to get a defibrillator fitted at the school.

"I want the pupils and teachers in my school and people in the community to feel safe knowing there is life saving equipment close by."

Eloise Collings, Claudia’s mum, works as a radiographer said: “I can't even begin to explain how proud I am of my daughter, Claudia. The idea to raise money for a defibrillator came about due to her interest in cardiac arrests and CPR.

"It is outstanding that she has managed to do this and knowing that the defibrillator may be used to save someone's life one day is amazing. She says she wants to be a doctor when she's older and with her determination, I can see her dream coming true”.

Claudia has ended her time at primary school on a high and has impressed teachers with her efforts to provide a life-saving piece of the equipment for the school and community.

Headteacher, Andrea Goodwin said: "Claudia is a wonderful young lady and this act of kindness she has shown is something I know she has been planning for a while. We are so proud of what she has done and the whole school community have supported her fundraising goals. What a legacy to leave behind at her primary school as she moves onto secondary education.”

Dr. Michael Norton a North-East cardiologist with a special interest in cardiac arrest and resuscitation has been moved by Claudia’s efforts, he added: “Every school should have a defibrillator and Claudia’s amazing work has already made her fellow pupils, the teachers, staff and visiting parents safer. Every second counts in cardiac arrest - for every 60 seconds delay in using a defibrillator there is a 10% drop in survival.”

Dr Norton stated a cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time. Calling 999 and starting chest compressions as soon as possible is vital.