Ur­gent call for mo­bile phones

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - PAULA HULBURT

Un­wanted mo­bile phones could help kind-hearted stu­dents from a Marl­bor­ough school save lives.

Staff and pupils at River­lands School have been long-term staunch sup­port­ers of a re­cy­cling scheme where ob­so­lete mo­bile phones are swapped for re­ward points.

The school has been sav­ing hard to earn enough points to have an Au­to­mated Ex­ter­nal De­fib­ril­la­tor (AED) fit­ted at the semi-ru­ral Blen­heim lo­ca­tion and hopes the lo­cal com­mu­nity can help out.

Prin­ci­pal Dave Par­sons said while there were other AED de­vices in the River­lands area, most were too far away to be eas­ily ac­cessed in a life-threat­en­ing emer­gency. the phones are re­cy­cled by RE:mo­bile in ex­change for school re­ward points.

But this time, in­stead of sav­ing-up for IT equip­ment, a self-training AED de­vice is top of the school’s wish list.

‘‘We orig­i­nally joined to sup­port Star­ship Hospi­tal. We had a stu­dent knocked off her bike 10 years ago by a truck who was flown-up to Star­ship. Luck­ily, she sur­vived.

‘‘The pro­gramme be­gan with Star­ship Hospi­tal re­ceiv­ing the pro­ceeds of the campaign and in 2016 The Sus­tain­able Coast­lines Char­i­ta­ble Trust be­come the new char­ity bene­fac­tors.

‘‘The AED is the most ex­pen­sive item on the re­wards at 1000 points. Our cur­rent point to­tal is 676 so we do need to im­prove our col­lect­ing stats and get more phones col­lected, and we hope the com­mu­nity might be able to help,’’ said Par­sons.

The na­tion­wide stew­ard­ship scheme pro­gramme is op­er­ated by Swap­kit and ac­cred­ited by the Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘It doesn’t mat­ter how old the phones are, what con­di­tion they are in or what brand they are. They all count.

‘‘As part of our first aid train- ing staff here know how to use a de­fib­ril­la­tor. Sadly, it’s not just older peo­ple who may need one and we want to be in a sit­u­a­tion to help,’’ said Par­sons.

Un­wanted mo­bile phones (without charg­ers) can be dropped-off at River­lands School on School Rd dur­ing open­ing hours or at the Marl­bor­ough Ex­press of­fice at 62 Arthur St, Blen­heim.

PAULA HULBURT/STUFF

Un­wanted mo­bile phones will help stu­dents and staff at River­lands School, from left, Pipi Bell,11, Hana Berry,12, prin­ci­pal Dave Par­sons, Mag­gie Dod­son, 12, and Lily Neal, 12, save points to­wards an AED de­vice.

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