Rockinghorse partner with Connor Saunders Foundation to supply school defibrillators

Brighton-based children’s charity Rockinghorse has partnered with the Connor Saunders Foundation to provide schools in the local area with a defibrillator.

Rockinghorse has provided funding for ten defibrillator machines to be installed as well as training sessions for pupils and teachers in first aid workshops organised by the Connor Saunders Foundation.

Analiese Doctrove from Rockinghorse joined Darran and Courtney Saunders to visit year 7 pupils at PACA
Analiese Doctrove from Rockinghorse joined Darran and Courtney Saunders to visit year 7 pupils at PACA

Sadly, 12 young people die every week from sudden cardiac arrest. Of these, 270 are children who will die at school and 80% of those will have had no previous symptoms. Defibrillators are simply too expensive to be installed in schools as standard, so The Connor Saunders Foundation is working to try and make as many schools in Sussex as possible heart safe.

Having access to a defibrillator can be life-saving. For every minute that a person is in cardiac arrest, their chances of survival drops by 10%. A defibrillator is the only definitive treatment for someone who is suffering a cardiac arrest, which is why it is so important for schools to not only have access to this life-saving piece of equipment, but to also learn how to use it.

Thanks to funding provided by Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, nine schools in and around Brighton and Hove have already benefitted by receiving a potentially life-saving defibrillator, they are; St Luke’s Primary School, Elm Grove Primary School, Middle Street Primary School, Northease Manor School, Seahaven Academy, Varndean School, Swiss Gardens Primary School, Chyngton Primary School and PACA (Portslade Aldridge Community Academy). Saltdean Primary will be the tenth school to receive a defibrillator on Wednesday 16 March.

Analiese Doctrove, Head of Fundraising at Rockinghorse, joined Darran and Courtney (Connor’s mum and sister) from the Connor Saunders Foundation to visit PACA in Portslade. She was invited to watch one of their first aid classes where teachers and pupils were taught how to use a defibrillator. Analiese said: “It was amazing to visit PACA and see the first aid training in practice. The year 7 pupils were really engaged by the session and it is was great to see the teachers getting involved as well. We have been really excited to work with the Connor Saunders Foundation and help them to reach even more schools in the local area.”

Darran Saunders from the Connor Saunders Foundation, added: “As a family who lost the most precious gift of all; a son, a brother, a friend, we made a conscious decision that Connor’s life made it possible and his death made it necessary for us to continue his legacy of saving lives. By supplying 10 defibrillators to schools enables them to be heart safe and this life-saving piece of equipment gives peace of mind to the staff, parents and pupils at each of those schools. A heartfelt thank you to Rockinghorse.”

For more information about Rockinghorse, please visit To find out more about the Connor Saunders Foundation, please visit