A FUNDRAISING grandmother with a “heart of gold” has backed our defibrillator appeal by collecting hundreds of pounds through her charity bingo nights.
Newport bingo club volunteer Joan Davies, 80, started her collections to buy the life-saving equipment for a school after spotting stories in the Argus about the Jack’s Appeal.
The appeal seeks to put a defibrillator in every secondary school in Gwent.
She originally planned to collect the donations for Maes Ebbw special school in Newport.
But Maes Ebbw head teacher Julie Nichols revealed yesterday her establishment already had one and recommended her fundraising efforts went towards buying a defibrillator for St Joseph’s RC High School in Duffryn, which has close links with her school.
Mrs Davies has already collected £450 for the equipment and hopes to reach the £1,000 target to get the defibrillator into St Joseph High within the next two months.
Mrs Davies, of Gaer Vale, Newport, said: “I think it’s great. I am very interested in medical charities.
“I’ve done volunteering with a hospital and St John Ambulance and have given funds to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff. It’s marvellous.”
St Joseph’s RC School in Pencarn Way is now looking forward to inviting Mrs Davies for an official presentation once the equipment has been purchased.
The secondary is set to become the first Newport school to receive a defibrillator through the Jack’s Appeal, launched following the sudden death of Oakdale secondary student Jack Thomas in 2012.
St Joseph’s business manager Mark Rowland said yesterday: “As a school, we would be delighted to accept the offer of fundraising for a defibrillator or indeed the receipt of one.
“We would help to train all the staff to use it.
“It has been on my mind since I read an article about the Jack’s Appeal.
“You only need to use it once and it pays for itself.”
Mrs Davies received a Wales Council for Voluntary Action award last year after it emerged she raised up to £500 a month through her bingo nights held at Maesglas Community Centre.
Staff at the Bideford Road centre have previously described her as “super Joan” adding she had a “heart of gold” and unveiled an IT suite in her honour a year ago.
l To make a donation to Jack’s Appeal, or donate the proceeds of a fundraising event, send cheques made payable to Welsh Hearts charity, either to its headquarters at Temple Court, 13a Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9HA, or to Newsdesk, South Wales Argus, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP20 3QN. Please write ‘Jack Thomas defibs appeal’ on the back of the envelope.