Pick up life saving skills along with the shopping in Leeds

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First aid demonstrations in a Leeds shopping centre should ensure shoppers leave the city centre armed with life-saving skills as well as carrier bags.

St John Ambulance’s Save a Life September aims to raise awareness of the importance of first aid and equip thousands of people with basic skills that can make the difference between life and death.

It will see hundreds of free first aid sessions take place in venues such as shopping centres and town squares across the country.

At the events, volunteers from the charity will teach passers-by how to save a life using five easy-to-follow techniques, from dealing with a child choking to placing someone in the recovery position.

They will also hand out free pocket-sized first aid guides.

Matt Woodhead, area manager for St John Ambulance Leeds, will be running the demonstrations in The Light on the Headrow on September 19, 20 and 21 from 9am to 8pm.

The 22-year-old, a volunteer with the charity for four years, said if passers-by stopped for just 10 minutes they could learn vital life-saving skills.

“We are not trying to teach everything. This is for someone to pick up a little bit of information and if they just remember that, they could save a person’s life.

“One of the worst things ever would be to be in a situation where you can’t do anything because you don’t have simple first aid knowledge.”

According to St John Ambulance, 53 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds say they have never learned first aid.

Matt, who just last month used his skills to help save a man’s life after a crash on the M62, said: “The things we did, anyone could have done – making sure someone’s head is kept still if they are in a car accident, encouraging them not to move. Just by doing that you could stop someone from becoming paralysed.”

St John Ambulance said up to 140,000 people a year die in situations where first aid could have saved them. The YEP has teamed up with the charity to teach first aid skills to 500 people across the city.

Hundreds of readers have already taken part in one of our discounted courses. Now we are calling on even more readers to help reach our next milestone of 400 first aiders.

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