Downshire set for double defibrillator boost

Principal Jacqueline Stewart and Mrs M Irwin, Health Education co-ordinator, take delivery of a defibrillator from Mark Warner, BOC. INCT 13-708-con
Principal Jacqueline Stewart and Mrs M Irwin, Health Education co-ordinator, take delivery of a defibrillator from Mark Warner, BOC. INCT 13-708-con

Carrick’s Downshire School will soon have access to not just one but two pieces of potentially lifesaving equipment.

Principal Jacqueline Stewart was recently presented with a defibrillator through the generosity of a family with strong connections to the school.

And a fundraising stalwart of the Downshire community is also progressing separate plans to purchase another.

Mrs Stewart explained the school’s first defibrillator has been kindly provided by Mr J McCready of Glenkrag Ltd.

“Mr McCready’s two children attended Downshire and his grandson is a current pupil, so he wanted to give something back to our school community, “ said Mrs Stewart.

“This is an extremely kind and thoughtful gesture and we really appreciate his generosity.

“He was made aware that we intended to fund raise for a defibrillator by former chair of the PTA (parent teachers association), Mrs Gwen Robb, BEM. When Mr McCready heard this he immediately offered to buy one for Downshire and to sponsor training for 12 members of staff.

“Gwen had already very kindly privately arranged a charity table quiz to raise funds for a defibrillator for school, so now it will be fantastic that we will have two. This will be very useful to take on school or youth club trips and to matches.”

Downshire School’s first aid, PE, Community and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme staff and principal are all due to be trained in the use of the defibrillator during the summer term.

The equipment is something the school has been keen to obtain as Mrs Stewart noted: “We had already identified the need for a defibrillator and hoped to fund raise for it. We are a very busy school with pupils, staff, parents, governors and community users accessing our building; therefore a defibrillator is an essential piece of equipment should anyone require it.

“Of course we hope never to have to use it, but it is better to be prepared just in case.”

Meanwhile, staff at the school were focusing on well-being on the run up to the Easter break.

The principal stated: “Thank you very much to Halo Hair and Beauty Haven, Subway, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland and Avril Waller Health and Fitness for their marvellous support for our event.

“£Everyone now feels refreshed, revitalised and ready for the summer term.”