School gets child-friendly defibrillator thanks to six generations of pupils
- Credit: Simon Parkin
A defibrillator suitable for children to use has been unveiled at a Norfolk primary thanks to fundraisers whose granddaughter is the sixth generation of the family to attend the school.
Peter Orford, who runs the Friends Charity Shop in Lowestoft with his wife Margaret, has helped to raise more than £180,000 for two local charities – the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's cardiology department and Palliative Care East.
The latest result of the couple's amazing fundraising is the life saving equipment to be installed outside Bressingham Primary School, near Diss.
Mr Orford is one of six generations of his family who have learnt in its classrooms. Their five-year-old granddaughter Hollie Orford is a current Year 1 pupil.
'This is extra special because of our links to the school,' he said. 'My great grandfather went to the old school which was down near the church, as did my grandfather and my father. My brother and I both went here then my three sons.
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'We have granddaughters aged from 25 down to Hollie. One granddaughter has just had our third great grandson a few weeks ago. They live here too so if he also comes to the school he will be the seventh generation to attend.'
Mr Orford, who has undergone cardiac procedures himself, added: 'I spoke to the parish council and they said the village has a defibrillator at the village hall but this is one children can use so I approached the school. I think it is amazing that this is something that children can manage.'
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The defibrillator was unveiled at a special assembly by Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk Sir Richard Jewson, alongside Dr Tony Page and Dr Iain Brooksby from the Norfolk Heat Trust.
Youngsters also took part in a demonstration of how the heart works given by Andrea Taylor, head of cardiac rhythm management at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, herself also a former pupil at Bressingham Primary.
She said: 'These sorts of defibrillators are so easy to use because the device will talk to you so you can't get it wrong. There are even child pads in there because children can have undiagnosed cardiac defects. We have all heard stories of a youngster running about on the football pitch that doesn't go home, if there is a community defibrillator there is a chance for them.'
Head teacher Dawn Gudde said: 'We are a community school and this is another way of being central to the village. We have been talking to the pupils about it and will be showing them how it works. They actually do first aid as part of their memorable events programme. It is nice to have something so important that is also appropriate to them.'