The Connor Saunders Foundation
What is the Connor Saunders Foundation?
The Connor Saunders Foundation was formed following the death of 19-year-old Connor Saunders from Brighton. In April 2012, Connor was killed in an unprovoked attack which changed his families lives forever. They vowed to create a legacy for Connor and the foundation was born. Connor became an organ donor at the age of 16 and has gone on to save five lives – his family have since encouraged people to sign up to the organ donor register.
The foundation is campaigning for defibrillators to be provided in schools and centres in the local community, and is providing training sessions for pupils and teachers in specially organised first aid workshops. The team are also working with local schools and communities to provide qualified football coaching to children with disabilities or learning difficulties, in memory of Connor, who was a keen footballer.
Why have we chosen to support them?
We believe it is vital for schools to have to access to potentially life-saving defibrillators, but sadly, this is not currently the case. 12 young people die every week from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK, and, of these, 270 children will die whilst at school, with 80% having had no previous symptoms. Defibrillators in schools are simply too expensive to be installed by the government as standard, so we’re working with The Connor Saunders Foundation to try and make as many schools in the Sussex area, heart safe.
How will the funds raised make a difference?
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 we believe 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.
In 2016, we provided funding to The Connor Saunders Foundation for 10 schools in and around Brighton and Hove to each receive a defibrillator and first aid training. As part of our 50th year appeal, we are delighted to have provided funding for another 20 defibrillators, which have been placed in schools around Sussex. The foundation reached their own milestone in our 50th year, by handing over its defibrillator, and we are so proud to be part of their journey.