Young Leeds lifesavers are at the heart of the action

St John Ambulance cadets Rebecca Flannigan and Jack Elsworth
St John Ambulance cadets Rebecca Flannigan and Jack Elsworth
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They are the lifesaving duo who always seem to be in the right place at the right time.

Quick-thinking St John Ambulance volunteers Rebecca Flanningan and Jack Elsworth know exactly what to do in an emergency.

Rebecca recently sprang into action in a busy shoe shop in Leeds city centre after she spotted a young boy choking on a sweet.

The child’s parents were at a loss of how to help their son but luckily Rebecca’s first aid instincts kicked in.

The 15-year-old Farnley Academy student performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on the boy and helped to dislodge the sweet while stunned shoppers looked on.

She said: “Nobody in the shop knew what to do and they were all surrounding him.

“But I knew what to do so I went to help him.

“I think the child would have unfortunately died if I hadn’t helped him.

“It’s incredibly important to learn first aid because it can be the difference between life and death.”

And Rebecca was presented with a top award by the first aid charity for her efforts.

The pair, who train with Armley and Wortley Combined Cadet unit, also spotted an emergency while on patrol at Leeds’s popular Valentine’s Fair when a youngster swallowed a pound coin.

Jack, 17, was also on hand to help one of his friends who injured his ankle during a football match.

The teenager said: “The parents of the boy came up to us and they just didn’t know what to do.

“You just never know when you are going to need to use first aid skills.”

The Yorkshire Evening Post has teamed up with St John Ambulance as part of our First Aid For All campaign to teach basic first aid to 500 readers in Leeds.

Shocking figures reveal that over half of the city’s parents lack the skills to help their child in an emergency.


St John Ambulance are offering a three-hour course at a discounted rate of just £20.

To book your place, telephone 01924 262 72 and press option four and quote discount code 20EFAAA.

* First Aid courses will be held at Shine Business Centre, Harehills Road, on March 25 at 9.30am.

* Friday May 2, 10am.

* Friday May 16, 9.30am.

* Wednesday, May 21,1pm.

* Tuesday, June 3, 9.30am

* Thursday, June 12, 1pm.

* Friday , June 27, 10am.

* Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls will host a course on Friday, April 4, at Unity Hall in Morley, at 1pm.

* Thursday, April 24 at Leeds Church Institute at 9.30am

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