Joy for Chris in crusade to teach children first aid

Chris Whitwood, left, demonstrates the recovery position to Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 Telefonica, the telecommunications company

 

Yorkshire Party Deputy Leader Chris Whitwood has applauded the Government’s decision to ensure English schoolchildren learn first aid. The move answers a long-running campaign Chris has led to equip all ages of children with lifesaving skills.

 The BBC has quoted Education Secretary Damian Hinds as saying he wanted to give young people “the tools they need to be ready to thrive when they leave school”.

Chris, a former primary school teacher who works in educational publishing, said: “I am delighted to read Mr Hind’s announcement that first aid is to become a mandatory part of the primary and secondary school curriculum. Teaching lifesaving skills is a no-brainer.

“It is appalling that we live in a country where almost two-thirds of people say they would not act have the confidence to act, even to call an ambulance, in a medical emergency and that even fewer have the skills to do so. As with any skill, the earlier you start and the more you practise, the better and more confident you become.

“The difference with first aid is that confidence to act in an emergency could be the difference between life and death. Children are able to make that difference and it is our responsibility to ensure they have the skills to save a life.”

Chris has been a member of St John Ambulance for 18 years and has worked on a project teaching first aid to young people in areas of high knife and gun crime, mainly in east London.

In 2011, he founded first aid campaign organisation Paradigm YP, through which he developed first aid teaching resources, endorsed by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, to support and encourage teachers to equip their children with lifesaving skills.

And he has worked with MPs and Peers in lobbying for first aid to be included on the national curriculum. He was invited to propose a motion on the subject at 2014 Lib Dem Conference and subsequently gained the support of other parties.

 

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