Chesterfield’s Hollingwood Primary School receives lifesaving defibrillator, courtesy of Leon’s Legacy

  • News
  • Posted on: April 29, 2024
  • Partnership: Flying High Partnership

Hollingwood Primary School has received the gift of a lifesaving defibrillator, courtesy of Leon’s Legacy charity.

Leon’s Legacy is a charity, founded in 2019, by the family of Leon Smith, who suffered an out of hospital cardiac arrest at his place of work in Annesley. Despite the best efforts of staff and emergency responders, Leon sadly did not survive. Subsequently, his family and friends, headed by the efforts of his daughter, Holly Younger, launched the charity ‘Leon’s Legacy’ to try and improve the numbers of defibrillators available to local communities.

Simon Chambers, Site Standards & Compliance Support Manager at The Flying High Partnership, a multi-academy trust of which Hollingwood Primary School is a member. Simon said, “I originally contacted the charity after I discovered the unit at the school wasn’t working. I had tried replacing its battery, but it still showed an error, and it became a high priority for me personally to try and remedy this.
“The units cost around £850 and are out of reach for most schools to buy, and so I sent the charity an email for advice, without any expectations of hearing back to be honest!
“But not only did Leon’s Legacy get back to us, we now have a new unit within the school and available for the local community to use. We are donating the old unit and replacement battery back to the charity, in case it can be refurbished and placed at another location.
“I am so grateful to Leon’s Legacy and to Holly for all of her work, and the support and expertise the charity provide. We are earmarking some future fundraising for the charity so hopefully they can continue to provide this valuable and lifesaving service for others.”

Adults left to right are Chris Stewart, Headteacher of Hollingwood Primary School, Simon Chambers of The Flying High Partnership Operations Team, and Holly Younger of Leon’s Legacy charity holding the new defibrillator.

A Chest Pain Specialist Nurse, Holly Younger, says the charity has placed 58 defibrillators within schools, and a further 19 at other community locations, with more on track to be delivered at new locations. Holly said, “Originally, I told my family that I thought I should be doing this for the rest of my life, -but I only envisioned installing maybe one defibrillator a year! It’s obviously grown much quicker than that, and we are now looking to install more defibrillators in lockable cabinets on external walls of buildings, which allows a community to access them 24 hours a day.
“We know some of our cabinets have already been used because we get alerts on the database of registered units, and hopefully we are having a positive impact in assisting communities.”

Holly says Leon’s Legacy charity also maintain existing defibrillators with replacement batteries and pads and can offer CPR training where required. She reports an increase in requests for support from sports clubs, where the charity is able to donate new defibrillators, or refurbish existing units. The charity continues to operate a JustGiving page and gets donations from schools, sports clubs and teams, as well as individuals who support their charity work.

Chris Stewart is Headteacher of Hollingwood Primary School and said during a special assembly that the school will work to inform the community about the new defibrillator’s location. “We are so grateful to Holly and Leon’s Legacy for the gift of this lifesaving equipment. We can of course hope that we never have to use it, -but should an emergency happen, our school and local community now have access to equipment that could save lives.
“During our special assembly to welcome Holly, we have tasked our children with spreading the news far and wide that Hollingwood Primary School now has a defibrillator. We are immensely grateful for the support that Leon’s Legacy has offered to the school and our community with this gift.”

Holly Scott (year 6) is Head Girl at Hollingwood Primary school, and said, “I am really pleased that the school has a new defibrillator because it could save someone’s life. Also, it is not just for school’s use, but can help other people in the area who can use it too. I think that Holly from Leon’s Legacy is doing something really nice and very important for all of us.”

Read more about the charity work of Leon’s Legacy here.

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