New defibrillators for schools after donation to Leon’s charity

Leon's family celebrate the donation of �1,000 from Persimmon Homes.
Leon's family celebrate the donation of �1,000 from Persimmon Homes.

A charity based in Kirkby that aims to put lifesaving defibrillators in schools across the county has been boosted by a leading housebuilder.

For Persimmon Homes has donated £1,000 to the Leon’s Legacy charity to fund two new defibrillators in the area.

The charity was launched in memory of Leon Smith, who died in January at the age of 52 when he suffered a cardiac arrest while working as a lunchtime supervisor at Annesley Primary School.

Staff did their best to save his life by using CPR before an air ambulance arrived at the scene, but their efforts were in vain because Leon died on his way to hospital.

The aim of the charity in his name is to ensure that lifesaving equipment is readily available at schools should a similar tragedy arise.

Holly Younger, Leon’s 25 year-old daughter, is herself a chest-pain specialist nurse at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton.

She said: “The school was fantastic. The staff did everything right and ran down the road to get the nearest defibrillator from a pub, and that also alerted a community first responder.

“Unfortunately, it was a massive heart attack, and he was gone.

“So far, we have raised enough money to donate defibrillators to ten different primary schools.

“Persimmon Homes’s donation will enable us to purchase a further two which we can give to local schools. We are very grateful.”

Holly has offered basic life-support and defibrillator training to all the schools that have received one of the devices, as part of a British Heart Foundation programme.

Persimmon Homes’s gift has come from the company’s Community Champions scheme, which donates up to £2,000 each month to community groups, organisations or charities in each of the company’s 32 geographical areas.

Neil Follows, managing director for Persimmon Homes Nottingham, said: “Our Community Champions scheme is all about supporting local people in the areas where we are building new homes.

“Leon’s Legacy is providing a wonderful and potentially lifesaving service to the community. We are delighted to be able to support the charity’s fundraising efforts.”

To support the charity, you can follow its progress on its Facebook page.