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Fundraising drive to remember Leonie
5:00pm Tuesday 17th December 2013 in News
A SCHOOL has launched a campaign to put life-saving defibrillators into every Basildon school after the death of a student.
Leonie Nice, 12, died in May 2012, after a rugby ball hit her in the chest during a PE lesson at Woodlands School.
The school, in Basildon, has teamed up with the Eastgate shopping centre to buy defibrillators for every school in the town as a lasting memorial.
Jayne Dear, assistant headteacher, said: “We are under no illusions, a defibrillator wouldn’t have saved Leonie, but it would be a comforting thought to have defbrillators in schools across Basildon.
“We will be keeping her memory alive.
“The family are delighted.
They are very keen for her to have a memorial, which we will have in the new school, but this will be a far-reaching memorial too.”
Pupils and staff at Woodlands are holding a series of fundraisers to kick-start their campaign.
They need to raise at least £1,000 to be able to buy the first defibrillator and train staff to use it.
The Eastgate said it will match any funding the school raises and also train its staff to use the machines.
Mrs Dear said she hoped to have raised enough money to have the first defibrilator in the new Woodlands School next year.
She said: “We hope to have two in every secondary school and one in every primary school in the future. Hopefully they will never have to be used, but at least they will be there.”
The first fundraising event will be students carol singing at the Eastgate on Saturday, from 10am until noon and 1pm to 3pm.
Mike Horton, spokesman for the centre, said: “Eastgate is delighted to be joining Woodlands School in a great initiative for schools in Basildon to acquire defibrillators and the knowledge necessary to use them.
“In due course this campaign could also put Basildon firmly on the map for pioneering the placement of life-saving support in an area of the community where it is much needed.”
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