The children at Brackenfield School have celebrated the grand unveiling of their brand-new community defibrillator, funded by the school’s Community Captains initiative.

The outstanding-rated prep school has raised enough money to have a defibrillator bought and installed just outside of the school’s grounds which is now available to the local community.

A VIP guest list, including Harrogate’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Robert Windass, the founder of Brackenfield, Margie Sutcliffe and Alec Lutton from Defibrillators for Ripon attended a special unveiling of the brand-new community defibrillator, showcasing the life-saving piece of medical equipment.

Other VIPs in attendance were Clare Ayres from Harrogate Hospital and Rebecca Oliver representing the Duchy Residents’ Association.

Research has found that around 60,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year, resulting in a ‘healthcare crisis.’ Thankfully, the increase in local, community defibrillators has ensured more lives are saved.

The school has two Community Captains from Year 6 who are supported by the Senior Leadership team to fundraise for important local causes, their latest being the new defibrillator. Brackenfield focuses its learning on four key areas: Curriculum & Learning, Activities, Outdoor Learning, and Community, ensuring they offer a well-rounded education to their pupils. Encouraging community engagement forms an integral part of life at Brackenfield.

As well as the grand unveiling, the school also presented a £100 cheque to the Defibrillators for Ripon charity, further supporting the worthy local cause.

According to NHS Yorkshire Ambulance Service, there are 3,000 known community defibrillators across Yorkshire, a figure they are trying to increase as they raise awareness of the important role this life-saving equipment can play within communities.

Headmaster at Brackenfield Joe Masterson said: “I am incredibly proud of our Community Captains for this fantastic achievement and for helping our school to support the local community. The team worked hard to create specially designed leaflets, spreading the news of their impressive ambition and all their hard work has paid off!”

He continued: “We are so pleased our Community Captains chose such a worthy cause for their fundraising efforts. I was thrilled to see the grand unveiling of the defibrillator yesterday and felt extremely proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our wonderful Community Captains.”

This fundraising and unveiling event has been supported by the whole Brackenfield School community, recognising the vital role of a defibrillator and the importance of the fundraising initiative. The cost of a defibrillator can cost up to £2,500, illustrating Brackenfield’s incredible achievement.

The current Year 6 cohort has continued the impressive fundraising efforts of their predecessors, supporting the Brackenfield team spirit.

A Year 6 pupil commented: “The whole event was so exciting, and it was so rewarding to see our hard work and team effort praised by the wider community. We are proud to have been part of an initiative that could help to save a life and can’t wait to move onto our next project.”

The Community Captains continue, year after year, to make a positive impact within their local community, providing vital facilities and supporting the local care homes to boost morale.

Founded in 1977, Brackenfield, is a small, independent school for boys and girls aged 2-11 with a close-knit community feel. Located five minutes from the centre of Harrogate on Duchy Road, the school has established a strong and long-standing reputation for supporting the local community, as well as providing a first-class academic education.