Kirkby nurse's heart-felt effort to provide lifesaving equipment in memory of dad

A Kirkby woman has made a heart-felt effort to provide lifesaving equipment to help others in her community, in memory of her dad.

Through relentless fundraising, Holly Younger, a cardiac nurse at Sutton’s King’s Mill Hospital, has managed to buy 50 defibrillators for schools across the area.

The specialist machines, costing about £600, are used to restart the heart during a cardiac arrest.

Forty have already been sited at schools, while another 10 are allocated – Holly’s 50th milestone was reached with a defibrillator for Holgate Primary School, Hucknall.

Holly Younger

Holly’s fundraising started three years ago, after her dad Leon Smith died in January 2019.

Leon, a ‘dinner man’ at Annesley Primary School, was aged just 52 when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Holly, aged 28, decided to raise cash for a defibrillator at the school and, helped by family and friends, set up the charity Leon’s Legacy.

Since then, the keen hockey player has organised everything from tournaments and raffles to discos, as well as securing grants from organisations including Sutton Rotary Club and Persimmon Homes.

Holly's dad Leon Smith who died aged 52 after a heart attack

Holly said: “I’m thrilled at achieving 50 defibrillators. I hope to get one in every school, and more in outside cabinets, giving public access.

“When my dad died, I wanted to do something in his memory and to help others. He’d be proud, but more likely he’d be telling me to ‘sit still’, as I never stop.”

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Keen hockey player Holly pictured with her mum Linda Smith - tournaments helped raise money for defibrillators.

Holly regularly goes into schools teaching emergency first aid in her spare time.

A nurse at King’s Mill for seven years, she visited the 1st Kirkby Guides to help the girls with their first aid badges.

Holly said “When my dad passed it was hard, it was so unexpected, he wasn’t ill.

“I wasn’t there to help my dad, but he had wonderful people helping him at Annesley, they did everything they could for him, but there was nothing anyone could have done, it was just his time.

In December 2019, Holly Younger, of Leon’s Legacy, fourth from right, holds a cheque for £200 donated by Mapplewells Primary and Nursery School, while children hold the new defibrillator now installed at the school.

"I’ve kept in touch with the school, they are lovely, I take cake in every year on his anniversary.”

Holly is planning a party, with a defibrillator-shaped cake and a disco, to celebrate her 50 defibrillatorachievement, at Ilkeston Squash Club, on May 21. All are welcome, with donations on the door appreciated.

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Greenwood Primary & Nursery School children Oliver Parkin and Athena Ashford with Holly Younger and the new cabinet for the school’s defibrillator, back in February 2020.
Supports of Leon's Legacy pictured back in 2019.