Pupils trained to be life-savers

Evesham Journal: St John Ambulance regional schools training co-ordinator Jo Huck with year eight pupils George Wilson and Laura Swain, both aged 13. St John Ambulance regional schools training co-ordinator Jo Huck with year eight pupils George Wilson and Laura Swain, both aged 13.

MORE than 100 pupils at an Evesham school are now trained life-savers, thanks to free first aid training funded by the legacy of a Vale man.

The whole of the year eight group at St Egwin’s Middle School – about 120 pupils aged 12 and 13 – were taught first aid skills by St John Ambulance trainer Michelle James across a week from November 18-22.

It was part of a St John scheme offering free school and community courses in the Vale paid for by a legacy from market gardener Arthur Smith.

Mr Smith, of Bretforton, died in 2011 leaving £1 million to be shared between 10 charities, including St John Ambulance.

The charity is using Mr Smith’s bequest of more than £110,000 to offer free first aid courses in a bid to drive-up the number of people in the Vale of Evesham area who know first aid.

St Egwin’s students learnt how to manage an incident and the most commonly needed first aid skills, such as how to deal with choking, bleeding, asthma, burns and scalds, the recovery position, bone muscle and joint injuries, fainting and cardio pulmonary resuscitation.

The school has already been working with St John Ambulance for the past four years, training 30 students annually to achieve their ASDAN first aid qualification.

Amanda Capewell, St Egwin’s community education co-ordinator, said: “First aid is an important life skill which also teaches students about communication and teamwork as well as the vital things they need to know in a medical emergency.”

“We know from our previous work with St John Ambulance about what a difference it can make. Two students have had to use their first aid skills at home and in the community in medical emergencies. They knew what to do and dealt with serious incidents with a maturity beyond their years because of the training they had received.”

So far, free training has been delivered to 14 Evesham schools, leading to 765 young people knowing first aid. A further 477 students will be trained this academic year.

Jo Huck, regional schools training co-ordinator for St John Ambulance in the West Midlands, encouraged other schools in Evesham to take up the free offer.

She said: “We want to work with students in years five, eight and 10 and deliver training in the most convenient way to enable us to reach as many students as possible.

“We have a dedicated team of school trainers who are ready to equip the next generation of first aiders with the knowledge they need to be the difference.”

To book free school training or find out more about St John Ambulance, call 0121 2373879, email west-mids-training@sja.org.uk or visit sja.org.uk.

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