Community triumph from tragedy

The heart-broken family of a teenager stabbed to death in Sunderland have praised a fire service for installing life-saving bleed kits on their stations.

Tanya and Simon Brown have been fundraising and installing the vital lifesaving equipment across the north east for the last year after the death of their son Connor in 2019.

The 18-year-old was stabbed following a night out with friends and tragically died in hospital a short time later.

His family have been on a mission to help people across the region by installing kits that can be used to treat catastrophic bleeds.

The work of the Connor Brown Trust has seen the kits installed at many buildings and community hubs across the region.

In the event that someone is stabbed, or catastrophically injured, a member of the public can ring 999 and be provided with a code to access the bleed kit.

They can be then used to offer emergency first aid that could help keep someone alive until the arrival of emergency services.

Now Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have announced they have worked with Tanya and Simon to install the kits on the external walls of their stations.

Community Fire Stations in Farringdon, Marley Park, Rainton Bridge and Sunderland Central have all been fitted with the kits in the initial phase of the project.

Connor’s dad, Simon, said: “Knowing that we are doing this, it is us getting some positivity from the negativity.

“It warms the heart and we know we are doing something good in the community which is what we always intended on doing.

“The people of Sunderland and further afield, they were there for us in our darkest days, and this is us putting something back.”

And Tanya added: “I’d like to think Connor was proud of us for doing what we are doing and that’s enough for me.

“We can’t thank the fire service enough for their support of the Trust and their commitment to helping keep people across the region safe.”

Today (Friday) senior leaders in TWFRS have praised the Connor Brown Trust and their staff for their commitment to keeping their community safe.

Area Manager for Service Delivery, Dave Leach, said “Hopefully these kits are never needed but if they are, they are in trusted safe locations.

“We have an almost identical kit on the station so if we aren’t at an incident we’d always encourage people to come to us for help.

“I want to thank Tanya and Simon for their tireless fundraising for the equipment and we are looking forward to our partnership going forward.

“I also want to thank our Watch Manager Andy Nelson who has been a champion for these kits in TWFRS; he has worked hard to make this a reality.

“Right now this is a pilot scheme in Sunderland but we are working with the Connor Brown Trust to fundraise and install the kits across our other 13 locations.”

The bleed kits work similarly to the community defibrillators, to access the box you ring 999, ask for the ambulance service and will be given a code.

You will then be talked through what to whilst emergency services are dispatched to your location.

The Connor Brown Trust are fundraising to install bleed kits across TWFRS’s other 13 locations.

You can find out more about their fundraising targets and the charity on their gofundme pages.