PRIMARY school pupils are putting their best feet forward to support a heart screening event in memory of parent Mat Hodge.

Children at Bexton Primary School are taking part in a sponsored walk to raise money for a screening session and to have a further defibrillator installed in Knutsford.

The fundraising is being supported by the family of Mat, who was an active member of Knutsford Hockey Club and died suddenly last September from a cardiac arrest.

The fundraising is taking place with the hockey club and Knutsford Community First Responder Trust, with the screening day at Knutsford Academy scheduled for April 2020.

Deputy head teacher Jill Sach said: “This term pupils have been working with the Trust to learn about how to have a healthy heart.

“The First Responders have led assemblies and worked with each year group to teach them essential first aid skills.

“The children have also been learning in class about how to stay healthy through diet and exercise.

“As part of the project the school is working closely with Knutsford Hockey Club to raise money to support a cardiac screening day in memory of Mat Hodge, a Bexton parent and much-valued member of the club.”

The school held a parents’ coffee and cakes morning on Thursday, and on June 21 pupils will be doing a sponsored run/walk, aiming to complete as many laps as they can on the woodland trail in 30 minutes.

Jill added: “Bexton parents have been incredibly supportive, baking cakes and providing healthy treats to raise further funds.

“It has been a privilege to work with Knutsford Community First Responders for such an amazing cause.

“To educate our children about life-saving skills and raise money for a cause close to all our hearts has been very worthwhile.

“A huge thank you to everyone who has supported this project, especially Georgina Hodge [Mat’s wife] and the First Responders.”

Knutsford Guardian:

Georgina and Mat Hodge with their children Jamon and Jonty

Georgina said: “The kindness of spirit and support shown amongst the community and within Bexton has been phenomenal.

“People have pulled together in a way that has been so touching, supporting a local charity that will make a difference to the lives of people in Knutsford.

“Mat was an incredible person, dad and husband, and fundraising in this way is a very special way for us all to remember him.”

There are further events planned to raise additional funds, including cycle rides from Knutsford to Trearddur Bay in September organised by Knutsford Hockey Club, a bike ride organised by the Bexton dads, a golf event and sponsorship of the Manchester Marathon in April 2020.

Knutsford Hockey Club first team captains Jonny Price and Tom Howard said: "Mat is a legend of Knutsford Hockey Club. In his nearly 15 years as a member he spent seven as first team captain, was a great social member and a great friend to many.

"He is sorely missed, but we are looking forward to helping raise as much money as possible for this fantastic cause.

"It is truly inspirational that Georgina and the family are choosing this way to honour Mat's memory."