Determined Austin doubles his defib target

Rotary Lytham President John Edwards (right) and Rotarian Herbert Chatters present Austin Brennand with a cheque towards the youngster's appeal to fund a defibrillator for Ansdell
Rotary Lytham President John Edwards (right) and Rotarian Herbert Chatters present Austin Brennand with a cheque towards the youngster's appeal to fund a defibrillator for Ansdell

A five-year-old boy’s bid to generate enough cash to pay for a defibrillator for Ansdell has prompted such a great reaction that he has double his target.

Austin Brennand, who is tackling a 10km sponsored cycle next month to add to the money already raised through a Just Giving site set up in his name, now has his sights set on two of the life-saving machines for the village.

As we reported last week, Austin was born with a rare condition which meant that at just three months old, he needed vital surgery to correct four abnormalities with his heart.

For his Christening, his parents invited family and friends to donate money rather than gifts so they could buy a defibrillator on his behalf and donate it to Park View 4U playing fields in Lytham.

When Austin heard that machine had saved three lives, he suggested raising money for a defibrillator for Ansdell, where the family lives, and set a target of £1,500.

That was passed when Lytham Rotary donated £290 to the fund and the amount raised is now well on its way to the new target of £3,000.

Austin will be joined by family and friends for the cycle ride up the coast on Sunday, July 7 – but Ansdell’s first community defibrillator is already on the way.

Austin’s mum Katey said: “The response has been fantastic and it’s becoming a wonderful collaborative campaign.

“I’m ordering the first defibrillator and cabinet this week and Ansdell Institute have confirmed they are happy to house it at the front of their building which is great news.

“Since the article appeared in the Express, we’ve had so many people come up to us to say thank you and well done.

“We’ve also had a great response from people looking to help fund raise too.

“Helen Ashton who owns The Little Village Nursery here in Ansdell is looking to collect money at their stall at Lytham Club Day this Saturday. They will be collecting money in buckets at their pitch at Lytham Hall. She also wants to hold a fundraising day at the Co-operative shop, which is fantastic.

“Chris Hyde from the North West Ambulance Service couldn’t believe how fast Austin had raised the money. There are a few defibs in Lytham and a few in St Annes now but none in Ansdell and the more there are, the more lives will be saved.”

Austin is a pupil at Ansdell Primary School and Suzanne Thomas, the headteacher there, said: “Austin is an incredible little boy and we are so proud of him.”

Details of Austin’s fund-raising drive at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/austin-brennand