Young Mayor teams up with MP to save lives

Jessica Batchelor ... 'It's shocked me that no-one's thought to do it before.'
Jessica Batchelor ... 'It's shocked me that no-one's thought to do it before.'

A 15-year-old girl from Seaford has teamed up with the local MP to push a new law through Parliament to have defibrillators in public spaces.

The town’s Young Mayor, Jessica Batchelor, started campaigning for the life-saving devices after a family friend sadly passed away.

Last week the Bill she wrote was read by MP Maria Caulfield in Parliament and faced no opposition. It is to have its second reading in January.

Jessica, who is in Year 11 at Seaford Head School, said, “It’s amazing – hearing my writing read out was so cool. It’s shocked me that no one’s thought to do it before. I didn’t think someone needed to die in order to get this equipment.

“It shouldn’t have to take a 15-year-old to realise it’s needed, especially at sports centres where it’s more likely someone might have a cardiac arrest.”

Earlier this year a close family friend of Jessica’s died from cardiac arrest at a netball match she was playing in. There was no defibrillator and she did not think this was good enough.

She campaigned locally to make it mandatory to have the equipment available, but she believes everywhere must have them too.

“I wanted to see something change,” Jessica said.

Ms Caulfield said, “It has been a delight working with Jessica, who has been instrumental in bringing this Bill forward due to her personal life experiences and subsequent fundraising efforts.”

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