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Our Trust of Schools

Defibrillator presented to West Exe School

Andy Hannan of Exeter Strollers Walking Football Club had a cardiac arrest whilst playing walking football at Wonford Sports Centre in November 2020.  Luckily, two years earlier, as Chair of the club, he had obtained funding from Devon County Council to buy a defibrillator (AED) which was used to revive him with a huge electric shock after five minutes during which his heart had stopped beating and his breathing had stopped.  Along with CPR (chest compressions) from a teammate, this saved his life.  


After Andy's consequent heart surgery, the manufacturer of the defibrillator, Stryker, through its 'Forward Hearts' scheme, gave him a new AED to donate to a community organisation of his choice - which was Exwick Community Centre.  Much to his surprise, some months later, Stryker sent him another AED which he has chosen to give to West Exe School via Exwick Community Association, which made the donation possible as it has the registered charity status required by Stryker.  Although the school already had an AED, an extra was required given the number of students on roll - one device was not enough to meet the potential need.  This arrangement was suggested to Andy by Di Hollidge, Resuscitation Officer at the RD&E, following an emergency first aid course he attended at the hospital.

Andy Hannan (Exeter Strollers Walking Football Club) -

I am delighted that the second AED I received has found such a good home at West Exe School.  Stryker has enabled me to make a life-saving device available both there and at Exwick Community Centre - that is a very good outcome of what was for me a very bad experience!

Trevor Sharp (Chair of Exwick Community Association) – 

Exwick Community Association is really pleased to be involved in the donation of a defibrillator to West Exe School.  This will enable it to be close to hand when it is needed. These devices save lives and enable people to live fuller lives.

Exwick Community Association is a charity run by a group of local residents who seek to get other groups and agencies to help local residents to make their lives better. This donation is a great example of that.

If you want to know more about us, please email [email protected] or find our Facebook group ‘Exwick Community Association’.

Di Hollidge (Resuscitation Officer RD&E) – 

As a team, we were glad to be able to facilitate the donation of the defibrillator to West Exe School.

Karen Haynes (Lead: Physical/Sensory and Medical Needs at West Exe School) –

I cannot thank Di Hollidge and her team enough for their support over the last year during which they have provided valuable training to all our staff at West Exe and supported a smooth transition for students. Di and her team also kindly lent the school an AED temporarily to ensure we were fully equipped to deal with an emergency.

When I received an email from Di asking if she could give Andy my contact details and why, I was amazed by Andy’s generosity.  We are extremely grateful to Andy for choosing West Exe to receive the AED that was kindly given to him by Stryker. It has enabled us to return the AED to the resuscitation team without the worry of not having the equipment needed in a very large school.

The kindness of Andy and generosity of Stryker, together with the support of the Exwick Community Association and the Resuscitation Team at the RD&E hospital, reinforce our awareness that we are all part of a supportive, positive and committed community.

Julie Fossey (Headteacher West Exe School) - 

I extend a huge West Exe thank you to Andy and Stryker for a truly life-saving donation to our school.  Not only does this benefit the students and staff during the school day, but it supports every community member who enjoys our facilities during the evening and weekend sessions on offer.