Last week Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy hit their £1,200 target, to purchase a defibrillator for the local community. Sean Hedley, whose son Noah (4) attends the academy, lead the campaign with his ‘100 mile run in 20 days’. Students, families and staff also supported his efforts through bake sales, raffles and sponsored runs.
Sean embarked on this challenge after losing his father unexpectedly to acute cardiac failure at just 61 years old, earlier this year. After seeing various stories across the sporting world about the successful use of defibrillators, Sean researched where the nearest one within the newly developed area of Chellaston was, he said;
“If my dad’s death could have been prevented, would we have had the equipment in place to use? the answer was the nearest defibrillator to us was a mile away in the village. With us having Aldi, Greggs, and Costa on our doorstep, and the amount of traffic that the estate sees on a daily basis, we wouldn’t be ready for an emergency like that. So, the easiest thing to do was set up a fundraiser, do my own challenge and try to raise the money ourselves.
“My son Noah, started Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy this year and absolutely loves it, so I set up a meeting with the Principal, Mrs Tunney to see if they would allow the defibrillator to go on the outside wall- open to the public and to see how we could raise the funds with different ideas. One of them being my 100 miles in 20 days challenge, cake sales and the children doing their own sponsored run.”
Principal, Rachel Tunney was delighted with the achievement, “I would like to thank Sean, and each and every one of our families that have supported our campaign to raise money for a defibrillator. As a new primary, in the heart of a developing community, it is key that we create an environment whereby all of our families feel safe, and in the eventuality of an emergency we have the necessary equipment at hand.”
Sean also credited his partner Emma and the Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy community, “It hasn’t just been me however, my partner Emma Brailsford has been fantastic and helped with organising a few things, and also every person who has donated has helped raised the money too.”
He had to endure some extreme weather over the past 20 days, but said when he reached the target the eve before his last run he was relieved;
“When we hit £1,200 I couldn’t believe it to be honest, it was a sense of relief knowing that we will be able to get the defibrillator in place as soon as possible. I’ve done all of the running and sharing of this campaign, in memory of my dad John Hedley, and to be honest whenever I’ve struggled on a run I’ve always pictured him being there with me pushing it through.
So, it is all thanks to him that I’ve been able to complete every run, as I’ve hit a few injuries and struggles. He’s been my motivation and so has Emma, and my two boys Noah & Theo. I want them to have a better chance with things in life and for me to show them that you can change the world in very small doses in things like this, if they ever did their own challenges or charity events I know I’ve accomplished something as a dad.”
Everyone at the Spencer Academies Trust would like to congratulate Sean and Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy for all of their collective efforts in fundraising.