A FORMER soldier has raised more than £1,000 to buy life-saving equipment for a school.
Matt Hellen, 39, cycled 70 miles over gruelling terrain in a day to pay for a defibrillator for the Mountain Lane School in Buckley.
Mr Hellen, who lives in the town, presented the device to the school, which his daughter attends, and talked to children about the challenge in an assembly held on Friday.
He rode from Caernarfon Castle last month on a tough route, taking on the Snowdon path and Denbigh Moors.
“The conditions on the day were shocking”, he said.
“It was probably the worst day we had all summer – the fog was a nightmare and the rain was hammering it down.
“But to be honest I was ok because I had put quite a lot of training in.”
Mr Hellen also secured training on how to use the device for 12 members of staff at the school through his employer Scottish Power.
He said: “Everyone has said how proud they are to me and I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet.
“I’m proud of doing it and I’m happy to do anything to help the school. I just hope they never have to use it.”
He said the device was not just to protect children, but could be used if there was an incident involving parents, guests or even people walking past the school.
Headteacher Iona Walker said: “We’ve wanted a defibrillator at the school for some time as we’re very aware that preventative action saves lives.
“As a central part of the community, we’ve wanted to provide this service for the benefit of all but our fundraising was still a long way from securing the defibrillator.
“I’d like to whole-heartedly thank Matt for taking up the challenge on our behalf and everyone who supported him on his homecoming.”