Seasons Spirit

Ms Lane O Connells second year English group have been busy exploring the worlds of film and shadow puppetry with fantastic results. This is the trailer to their Halloween movie – coming soon…

CPR 4 Schools – Celebrating Us

County Limerick school leading the way as students train in lifesaving CPR skills

by Norma Prendiville, Limerick Leader, 18 Oct 2018

HAZELWOOD College is leading the way when it comes to training people in life-saving CPR.

Earlier this year, in a move inspired by Hazelwood teacher, Michelle Herbert, and with the support of the Irish Heart Foundation, training was given to staff from 25 schools all over Munster, with the aim of getting them to go back and train their own school communities.

Then, last week, the Dromcollogher school reached another significant milestone, holding its first Celebrating Us day and training all its students and staff in CPR and preparing all its 600 people to go back into their home communities with the skills and confidence to save lives.

Videos by Ben O’Sullivan Videography

And it all took place on a day that will be etched forever into the memory of Michelle Herbert. On October 9, 2016, Michelle, who teaches chemistry and agricultural science in the school, suffered a heart attack while playing for Newcastle West in the Limerick Junior Camogie Final.

But thanks to the quick thinking of the woman who was marking her, Sarah Jane Joy, Michelle received CPR and defibrillator shocks on the pitch, and survived.

Michelle and Sarah Jane both appeared on the Ray Darcy show, recalling their dramatic tale of two years ago but also putting forward a passionate case for CPR training. The message that it can save lives was eloquently but forcefully obvious.

Sarah Jane Joy was also one of a number of guest speakers who joined students and staff in Hazelwood last week. Others included Clare hurler, Podge Collins, Irish Triathlon star, Caroline Hayes and Clare Scanlan whose son Darragh died as a result of cardiac arrest in the young in 2011. And of course, Michelle Herbert.

“No one knows when they may need to use this skill so it is vital that as many people in the country as possible are confident in this lifesaving skill,” Michelle told the school community.

“At Hazelwood College, we are delighted to be helping create a generation of lifesavers who will have the skills and knowledge to recognise someone in a cardiac arrest and perform CPR.”

Representatives from the Irish Heart Foundation and their mobile unit were on campus throughout the day and the Liam McCarthy Cup made an appearance.

“Michelle and her colleagues here in the school are incredible ambassadors for CPR 4 Schools and we are thrilled to present the school with a Special Recognition Award to acknowledge the exceptional work they have done to train students and staff in CPR,” said.

Laura Hickey, Children and Young People programme manager with the Irish Heart Foundation.

“We’re delighted to be here in Hazelwood College for today’s event.

“5,000 lives are lost every year in Ireland to sudden cardiac death, that’s 13 lives lost every day,” she added.

“But CPR is a lifesaving skill. If you start CPR, you can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival. Through the Irish Heart Foundation’s CPR 4 Schools programme, we are hoping to train 360,000 secondary school children in CPR and in the process create a new generation of lifesavers.”

With sessions on yoga, mindfulness, cookery, physical activity as well as CPR instruction and a barbeque, the focus in Hazelwood was firmly on equipping students with ways to face the challenges of modern living, including social media and rising stress levels.

It was, the school’s Heart Committee explained, about ensuring that all students and teachers left the school, not only able to undertake CPR but feeling positive, energised and with a new appreciation for life.

Photo Gallery by Eamon Doody, Skyview Photography

Video of the opening speakers on the day:

Such an important day couldn’t be facilated and funded without the help of the following sponsors.

FREE Blood Pressure Check

‘Don’t miss out on your chance for a FREE blood pressure check with an Irish Heart Foundation Nurse when the Mobile Health Unit visits Hazelwood College, Tuesday 9th October from 10am -4pm’

On the day we will have two nurses available on the mobile health unit to provide free Blood Pressure Checks and heart health information. The one-to-one advice offered by the nurse is a vital part of this check. Each person receives a personal record card with their results and in the event of any abnormal results is advised to follow up with their GP. High blood pressure which is a major cause of stroke and heart attack is one of the most prevalent risk factors in the population and one which once identified is manageable, thereby reducing risk. A blood pressure check is a simple, quick and non-invasive test that could prove life-saving. The current sponsor of the mobile health unit is Eurospar.

The Mobile Health Unit is open to all members of the public and will be parked outside the school.

‘Celebrating Us’ Tuesday, October 9th

Preparations are well underway for this fantastic event. We would ask all parents and friends of the school to read the letter below and to consider if they could help out in any way.

On Tuesday 9th October 2018 Hazelwood College is holding its first “Celebrating Us” day. On this day the school books will be put away and all students and staff will be trained in CPR. The aim is that we will be sending nearly 600 people into communities served by the school and that they are confident and qualified in this invaluable skill to save lives. Not only will students get the opportunity to save the lives of others, but through a variety of activities on the day such as yoga, mindfulness, and numerous guest speakers they will also be equipped to develop their own wellbeing through instilling their own personal resilience to face the challenges of the modern world, including social medial and increasing stress levels. It is hoped that all students and teachers leave the school that day not only able to undertake CPR but feeling positive, energised and with a new appreciation for life.

We are writing to ask for sponsorship in order to make our event as successful as possible. It is hoped that this will eventually be rolled out in every school in the country so there will be a lot of media coverage of the day and all sponsors will receive as much publicity as possible, both nationally and locally. There are various levels of sponsorship, depending on the amount donated; consequently all donations are welcome and will be much appreciated. For example a platinum sponsor will have their company logo printed on a t shirt that a particular year group will be wearing throughout the day. Alternatively, if there is a specific speaker or workshop you wish to sponsor that can be arranged also.

Hazelwood College are pioneering this initiative, building on our hosting of a very successful “CPR Day for Schools”, where in conjunction with the Irish Heart Foundation in May 2018 we trained staff from over 25 schools across Munster in CPR, enabling them to then train members of their school community. This is extremely close to our hearts as CPR and the presence of a defibrillator saved the life of our colleague Michelle Herbert when she suffered a cardiac arrest on 9th October 2016 while playing a camogie match.

Beginning of School Year Mass

On Tuesday Fr O Dea celebrated our Beginning of School Year Mass. It was a wonderful celebration of the Hazelwood Community enhanced by beautiful reflections, singing and instrumental pieces.

“We start this Mass by being grateful. There are many things to be grateful for in our lives. Be grateful for your interest in and enjoyment of sport, or art,or writing, or singing or whatever.Be thankful for your health, your intelligence, your body, your mind. Be grateful for your friends; for your teachers, for being part of this school. There is a lot we’d miss if we weren’t here”