NORTH West Ambulance Service has been lending its support to a community campaign based in Accrington and the surrounding villages.

The ‘Back to School with a Defib’ campaign is led by Hapton-based heart charity Pumping Marvellous, along with Asda and Hyndburn printing firm Media Village, and has so far raised about £7,200 to supply automated external defibrillators to as many local schools as possible.

To date the initiative has led to the successful placing of defibrillators in; St Wulstan’s Primary School, Peel Park School, Wood Nuck Primary, St Christopher's C of E, Hollins High School, Early Start Pre-school in Oswaldtwistle and St Bartholomew’s Primary in Great Harwood.

Ambulance staff have provided defibrillator and basic life-support training to teachers and some pupils.

Cheryl Pickstock, NWAS chain of survival county coordinator, said: “They can significantly increase someone’s chances of survival when used in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest.”