A HEART failure charity has been awarded almost £10,000 to install life-saving defibrillators into schools across East Lancashire.

The Lancashire Telegraph’s parent company, Gannett, is to donate £9,936 for nine new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) through its charitable arm, the Gannett Foundation.

This will aid Pumping Marvellous to deliver the equipment and necessary training to schools and communities with the highest incidence of heart failure.

The disease affects over one million people in the UK and is set to rise by 50 per cent over the next 25 years.

The Hapton-based organisation will supply two AEDs each to Blackburn and Burnley schools, and one to Ribble Valley, Rossendale, Hyndburn, Colne and Nelson.

Founder Nick Hartshorne-Evans said: “This is marvellous news for the Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire area.

“This is a much-needed life-saving scheme and we will be working with the North West Ambulance Service and British Red Cross to decide on which schools to put them in. A grant of this size would be difficult to get from anywhere else so we are very grateful.”

The charity would like to see one of the devices available in every school in East Lancashire and hopes that parents and businesses will be spurred on to fundraise to get AEDs for their communities, which the organisation can coordinate.

Pumping Marvellous works alongside the British Red Cross to train teachers and ‘first responder’ students to on how to administer CPR and use the AEDs.

The organisation was started after Mr Hartshorne-Evans suffered heart failure aged 39.