Sunderland schoolchildren get fit to raise thousands for Red Sky Foundation

Pupils at a Sunderland school raised thousands of pounds for a city charity and boosted their fitness into the bargain.

By Kevin Clark
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 10:53 am

Pupils at Benedict Biscop CE Academy in Sunderland – part of the Northern Lights Learning Trust – put their best foot forward in a fitness fun day to raise more than £5,400 for the Red Sky Foundation.

Originally set up by husband and wife Sergio and Emma Petrucci to raise money for Newcastle’s Children’s Heart Unit after their daughter Luna underwent life-saving cardiac surgery, the foundation has since extended its work to promote cardiac health and installing life-saving defibrillators at locations across the region.

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Deputy Head Gemma Clark came up with the idea of a fitness day to get children’s hearts beating through exercise sessions in aid of their new charity partner.

The children took part in a training session led by personal trainer, Adam Maddison, followed by an obstacle course and other fun exercise activities.

“Pupils had a fantastic time and it was great to see them having fun outside and enjoying themselves whilst raising funds for such a great charity,” said Gemma Clarke.

"We are so grateful for the support offered from the entire community and I want to thank everyone involved in our efforts for their co-operation and encouragement; and the result is we’re going to be able to help save lives by having a defibrillator available for our community.”

Sergio Petrucci and Gemma Clark with pupils

The foundation delivered its healthy heart project earlier this year as part of the curriculum and inspired both staff and students with their own fundraising achievements.

The charity arranged for flags and banners to be displayed around the school field and gave out sponsorship forms for donations towards its defibrillator campaign.

Sergio was over the moon: “We are delighted to learn how much of a positive impact we had on the children and staff when we visited Benedict Biscop,” he said.

"Their fundraising efforts showed how perfect planning and teamwork can make everyone come together for a super cause.

"Not only have they raised funds for Red Sky Foundation but it has also raised the spirits of all the school community for rallying behind us and supporting the event and we’re looking forward to installing more lifesaving defibrillators to protect everyone from cardiac arrest.”