CHILDREN from Peterchurch Primary School held a fundraising event which raised the amazing figure of £830.50 to help support Herefordshire Heartstart’s Schools Project.

The school council, plus additional Year 5 and 6 children organised a sponsored mini sporting event. They encouraged the whole school to take part and raise sponsorship money. They planned and organised the event, then led the sporting activities on the day.

This involved all 119 children from Reception to Year 6 taking part in a host of exciting activities which included individual skipping, group skipping, dance routine, hockey style ball skills and running activities.

Deputy headteacher Sarah King-Salter said “Unfortunately the field was very wet that day, but this didn’t dampen their enthusiasm, so they put 'plan B' into operation and did most of it inside.”

Co-ordinator and project manager for Herefordshire Heartstart Loraine Coleman has written to thank the children for organising this wonderful event and to all the pupils for taking part and for raising such an incredible amount towards the Schools Heartstart Project.

“We were delighted to receive this money which will help us to continue training school staff throughout Herefordshire, including Peterchurch Primary School. Every penny raised means that more schools' staff can be trained and existing staff can be re-trained each year.”

“All donations to support the Schools Heartstart Project goes towards ongoing training, which means of thousands of schoolchildren in Herefordshire will continue to benefit from this vital training and could potentially go on to save a life.

“The children at Peterchurch Primary School are truly inspirational and we are very proud of their achievements in organising and running such an event.

“We hope that the small number of schools who haven’t signed up to deliver Heartstart training in their school will take this offer up. We would also hope that schools will encourage their pupils to organise fundraising to help support the Heartstart schools programme, so that we can continue to offer this training free of charge, which in turn will benefit the whole community.”

Herefordshire Heartstart provides training and ongoing support to school staff from schools all over Herefordshire. The schools that have signed up to the British Heart Foundation Schools Heartstart Scheme can send staff on a free instructor training day organised by Loraine Coleman. As the schools training supervisor Loraine then delivers the training with her colleague Mary Prosser.

The training is an intensive day, with lots of hand-on practical sessions. Once all staff have been assessed, they are then signed off as an instructor which enables them to go back into the classroom to deliver the Heartstart course, which teaches basic emergency first aid skills to pupils.

To ensure that the standards in delivery of Heartstart remain high, schools staff are invited back for requalification/refresher training every 18 months.

“The whole ethos of Heartstart is that the training is made available without charge, so we continue to offer the training to schools free of charge.”

Until the end of last year the schools Heartstart project was funded by the British Heart Foundation. However this was a time-limited grant specifically to target schools in Herefordshire to join the scheme and follow this up with the necessary training. That project has now been completed, with a very high take up of schools now delivering Heartstart in Herefordshire.

However, we still remain committed to providing support and training to schools, but now rely on fundraising events and donations for us to continue this work beyond 2014.

If you can help by making a donation or by organising a fundraising event or would like your school to teach Heartstart to pupils, please contact Loraine Coleman, co-ordinator and schools project manager on 0845 6060654 or email or write to Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/project manager, Herefordshire Heartstart, PO Box 305, Hereford HR1 9JD.