SARUM St Paul's School has welcomed the arrival of a new life-saving piece of equipment.

Staff at the school received training to use the automated external defibrillator from South Western Ambulance Service on Monday, June 26.

Head teacher Lizzie Weavers said: “We are delighted to launch our school and local community defibrillator. This was paid for through fundraising events organised and led by our School Council.

"The School Council recognised the importance of having a defibrillator in school and were driven to succeed in their target of raising over £1400. We are thrilled and incredibly proud of their achievements."

The school was also assisted by cardiac charity SADS UK to get the defibrillator. Supporting the national cardiac charity SADS UK Big Shock campaign, the school was keen to get a defibrillator on their premises as they understand how important it is to provide early defibrillation when a person suffers a cardiac arrest.

The defibrillator works to restore the heart rhythm if a person goes into cardiac arrest and the earlier a defibrillator is used the better the chance of survival.

Anne Jolly, the founder of SADS UK, the Ashley Jolly SAD Trust, said: "SADS UK is pleased that Sarum St Paul’s School will benefit from having a defibrillator to restart the heart if there is a cardiac arrest on the premises. SADS UK works with schools and highlights the fact that as schools are a major hub in the community they should have defibrillators in place to save lives.

"Using CPR alone provides a five per cent chance of survival but early use of the defibrillator as well increases the chance of survival to over 50 per cent; this is why SADS UK and its members are so passionate about putting this lifesaving equipment in schools."

The SADS UK Big Shock campaign to legislate to make defibrillators available in all schools and widely in the community has the support of the ambulance services, the charity’s patron Dr Hilary Jones, Good Morning Britain and Dame Helen Mirren who heads the charity’s defibrillator leaflet.

After meeting with policymakers, SADS UK says it is pleased the Department for Education is advising schools to consider the defibrillator as part of their first aid equipment. This gives the Big Shock Campaign for legislating for defibrillators in all schools an enormous boost."