This came after a parent of a child at the school contacted The Big Match Charity to inquire about the installation of this device, used to save people from suffering a life-threatening cardiac arrest.
Elizabeth Humphries, head of the Gosport Team and major fundraiser, responded by connecting with St Mary's to set this up.
The charity held fundraising events to raise the money for the defibrillator – each devices costs about £700 – including car boot sales, fun days and general donations.
Elizabeth's son, Neil Humphries, founded The Big Match in 2012, which has grown into an events company that supports local and national causes.
The charity, established in memory of David Humphries who passed away from a brain tumour in the same year, initially began raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity and Action for Children, but found that raising defibrillators made more of a difference to local communities.
Elizabeth said: ‘Due to the pandemic, we have found it more beneficial to raise the money for defibrillators for local communities than larger amounts at this time.’
This idea of raising money for defibrillators came after the tragic death of Elizabeth’s friend’s five-year-old daughter in the school playground, following a heart attack.
In the wake of this, Elizabeth felt the defibrillators were sorely needed in places where they would be quickly accessible, such as schools, nurseries and grassroots football clubs.
In September 2021 – upon making the decision to fundraise for the devices – Elizabeth carried out a complete a wing walk and raised £2,500 for the first two to be donated to schools.
Since then, The Big Match Charity has donated over 50 defibrillators to Hampshire and Berkshire, and 10 to London.
The charity has also engaged with over 2000 children – getting them active and helping them fulfil a dream of playing in a professional football stadium, helping to organise and run many events.