Fundraising aims to save young lives
The fundraising efforts of Blackpool Sixth staff and students has raised over £5,500 for the CRY charity, which helps prevent sudden cardiac death in young people.
The college raised monies through Christmas market fundraisers, bake sales, car washes, sponge throws, charity walks, staff runs and staff bike rides, including one from Manchester to Blackpool.
The cheque was presented in memory of Matt Hesmondhalgh, who died suddenly from cardiac issues. His parents Paula and Barry accepted the money on behalf of the CRY charity.
“CRY affirms that at least 600 people lose their lives to Young Sudden Cardiac Death (YSCD) each and every year in the UK, but until we lost our beloved 22 year old son, Matt, to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) in August 2011, we were unaware of the charity or the crucial work they do,” explained Paula.
“Following help and guidance from CRY’s bereavement support team and from the CRY centre for cardiac pathology we discovered that, like Matt, a massive 80% of these deaths occur completely out of the blue with no warning signs or prior symptoms and that screening is key to prevention.
“The devastating effect Matt’s death has had on family, friends and the local community simply cannot be put into words, but hearing about the wonderful support Blackpool Sixth Form College have given CRY over the last few years, raising funds through a number of staff and student led initiatives and hosting a screening in 2017 is heartwarming.
“We are delighted that you have chosen to donate £5539.73 to The Matthew Hesmondhalgh Memorial Fund at CRY.
“This will be used to fund a full day of valuable testing at Garstang for young people aged 14-35, identifying those at risk and enabling further vital research. We look forward to welcoming some of your students at forthcoming screening events and thank you so much for all you have done in raising awareness of this silent killer and helping to save lives.”
Student Leah Pendlebury said she was delighted to help fund such an important charity, “The work they do is amazing and we are so pleased to have helped raise funds for this vital screening.”
Pictured: Barry and Paula Hesmondhalgh with students Balram Sandhu, Erin Webbe, Leah Pendlebury and Kye Wylie and assistant principal (vocational) Tina Cooper.