Lifesaving first aid unit launches on back of YEP campaign boost

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Awareness of the importance of first aid training, stoked by the YEP’s First Aid for All campaign, has created the demand for a new youth training unit.

The St John Ambulance charity opened its first city centre youth unit at its new St Andrew’s House premises on The Headrow last night, offering Leeds youngsters aged five to 17 the chance to learn lifesaving skills.

Dannie Roberts, of St John Ambulance, teaches Eva Brooks and Saskia Petrow how to perform CPR during the YEP's First Aid for All campaign. Picture by Gerard Binks.

Dannie Roberts, of St John Ambulance, teaches Eva Brooks and Saskia Petrow how to perform CPR during the YEP's First Aid for All campaign. Picture by Gerard Binks.

As well as teaching first aid, the youth programme offers children and young people the chance to go on day trips and take part in competitions and an annual youth camp.

The unit’s opening follows the YEP’s successful campaign to raise awareness of the importance of first aid, which saw more than 500 people in Leeds book themselves on to charity-run first aid courses last year.

Philip O’Donnell, St John Ambulance regional manager for youth services, said: “The First Aid for All campaign run last year by the Yorkshire Evening Post has played a big part in raising awareness of the importance of first aid in Leeds and created the demand and enthusiasm for our first ever city centre youth unit. It’s wonderful to see so many young people and youth leaders coming to join St John Ambulance.”

A recent taster evening, attended by the charity’s Bertie the Badger mascot, invited parents to bring their children to find out how to save lives through learning skills such as CPR and the recovery position. The event saw the unit enlist more than half of its target of 20 new badgers, children aged five to 10, and cadets, aged 11 to 17.

Youth unit manager Jane Crawshaw-Clarke said: “Our fun sessions help with confidence, lifelong friendships and a range of life skills.”

The charity also runs youth units in Wortley and Chapel Allerton. Call 01924 262726 or visit sja.org.uk/youngpeople.

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