First class lifesavers for YEP Leeds First Aid campaign

New recruits at St John Ambulance, in Leeds, are celebrating.
New recruits at St John Ambulance, in Leeds, are celebrating.
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Yorkshire Evening Post readers have their fingers firmly on the pulse to help save hundreds of lives.

More than 550 people are armed with lifesaving skills to offer vital support in homes, workplaces and communities across Leeds.

Hundreds of readers have joined our very own army of first-aiders to help be the difference between life and death.

And it is with their support that the YEP has smashed its target of teaching basic first aid to 500 people as part of our First Aid For All campaign.

Health chiefs are now hoping to build on the success of our campaign to ensure that first aid training remains high on the city’s agenda.

Simon Dunn, St John Ambulance regional director, said: “First Aid for All has been a fantastic campaign that has put first aid firmly on the agenda for thousands of people in Leeds.

“The YEP has made a real and lasting contribution to the city that we will continue to build on.”

The YEP teamed up with St John Ambulance after revealing more than half of parents in Leeds lack the first aid skills to save their child’s life.

And over the months our campaign has gained support from across the city from high-profile figures.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls took part in one of our special first aid courses and Leeds Arena showed its true colours by turning green to help light up extra support for the campaign.

The Leeds Rhinos rugby squad also threw their weight behind the campaign and urged fans to learn to save a life.

Businesses across Leeds pledged their time including Colton and Temple Newsam Children’s Centre in east Leeds.

And through your support the YEP has helped to put first aid firmly on the agenda.

Yorkshire Evening Post editor Jeremy Clifford said: “We are absolutely delighted with the support we have received from our readers.

“When we launched the campaign we wanted to give people the knowledge to perform life-saving skills recognising that vital minutes saved could save lives.

“It can be a frightening experience seeing a situation where you are powerless to do anything to help someone.

“But now more than 550 people know exactly what to do in an emergency and one day they could help to save a life.”

Simon Dunn, St John Ambulance regional director, praised the campaign and the support from readers.

He said: “First Aid for All has been a fantastic campaign that has put first aid firmly on the agenda for thousands of people in Leeds.

“In the last year, more than 500 people have taken the time to book on our course and learn the basic first aid skills that could help them save a life one day.

“We’ve had some terrific support – from Leeds Arena ‘going green’ for us to MP Ed Balls and the leader of Leeds City Council pledging their support.

“And now people are aware of the incredible work of St John Ambulance, we’ve heard from scores of Leeds folk wanting to join us as volunteers.

“The biggest support of all has come from the Yorkshire Evening Post, whose reporters have worked so hard to tell the stories that show how this charity makes a difference.

“The paper has made a real and lasting contribution to the city that we will continue to build on.

“On behalf of St John Ambulance, a huge thank you.”

The YEP teamed up with St John Ambulance last year as part of our First Aid For All campaign after we revealed more than half of parents in Leeds lack the first aid skills to save their child’s life.

And nearly one-fifth of the city’s parents do not view learning first aid as important.

Shocking figures reveal that nearly 54 per cent of parents in Leeds would not know what to do if their child’s life was in danger.

Readers were put through their paces during a special two-hour course to teach them essential lifesaving skills ranging from CPR through to how to care for a choking child.

The courses also prepared readers for how to treat shock, cope with severe bleeding and how to put a stranger in the recovery position.

Among those were grandmother Lynn Tindall from Ilkley who completed one of our special courses.

She said: “My husband has already been on the course and because we look after grandchildren we wanted to know more.

“Everyone needs a knowledge of first aid and confidence is key.”

Dad-of-two Mike Pinches, 34, from Weetwood, also decided to join the YEP’s lifesaving army because he lacked any basic first aid skills.

He said: “I have got two children and I didn’t really know anything about first aid.

“One of your biggest concerns is that if you were faced with an accident you wouldn’t know what to do.

“But this will teach you how to know what to do and that makes you more confident. Hopefully I never have to use first aid.”

And not only have we helped to teach basic first aid skills we have also helped to recruit an army of volunteers to support the vital work of St John Ambulance across the city.

They are often the eyes and ears at major events in Leeds - including the Christmas Light switch on and concerts - who help to keep people safe.

Sharon Davidson, 55, from Beeston, recently joined St John Ambulance as a volunteer and has completed training out and about in the city.

Recently she was buddied up with an experience volunteer to help keep a watchful eye over concert at Leeds Town Hall.

But the care worker for 15 years is no stranger to helping in an emergency.

She said: “As a carer, I’ve helped a 98-year-old lady suffering from hypothermia.

“I know the lady well as I’ve cared for her for a long time. I felt she wasn’t right because when I arrived she was fast asleep and didn’t stir.

“I sat for 10 minutes but didn’t like the look of it. I turned the fire up and tapped her hand.

“She woke but said she didn’t feel well so I carried her to the sofa, covered her with a duvet, called her daughter and gave her a cup of tea.

“She was taken to hospital where she spent two days recovering.

“I think she would have died if I hadn’t found her.

“Easter time can be the worst for elderly people. They think because the sun is out, it’s warm and they turn the heating down.”

She was also on hand to help a shopper who was sat on the floor with blood pouring out of his head.

Sharon added: “I was shopping in Hunslet and this fellow was sat on the floor with blood pouring out of his head.

“I calmed him down and asked him questions like ‘what day and year is it?’

“He didn’t know but he could count three fingers when I held them up.

“There was another girl there that was in a flap but she had a first aid kit which I used.

“His glasses had smashed into his head.

“He didn’t want me to call an ambulance so I drove him to St George’s Centre where they called 999.”

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