Bracknell, United Kingdom, 26 January 2012 - More Berkshire school children will learn to save lives, thanks to a link-up between St John Ambulance, a pharmaceutical firm and a local newspaper.
Bracknell-based pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, In association with the Bracknell News, is sponsoring a part-time St John Ambulance Berkshire schools liaison officer to provide free first training in schools.
For three days a week, the SLO, Natasha Bright-Thomas – a former teacher and qualified first aider - will be available to schools at little or no cost to carry out training or support schools' own first aid initiatives. Previously, schools had to pay for training, so the initiative will save them hundreds of pounds or mean more taking advantage of first aid training.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s involvement in free first aid training started in 2009 when, in liaison with the Bracknell News and St John, it launched free Childlifesaver courses for readers to learn basic skills required to save a baby or toddler’s life.
The courses were a huge success and highlighted the need for helping to fill the first aid ‘skills gap’ that obviously existed among parents and carers. Taking the training into schools felt like a logical progression of this work.
Duncan Cantor, director of communications at Boehringer, said: “As a company, we are committed to family health. This year is the 50th anniversary of the opening our UK office and what better way to celebrate our half-century in Bracknell than by extending the work we have already done in the first aid arena to local children. By helping them to learn the basic first aid skills they may, one day, be in a position to save someone’s life and that, for me, is a pretty good legacy for any company to have."
St John Ambulance Berkshire commander Sharon Johnson said: “We must say a huge thank you to Boehringer Ingelheim for its generosity. It is wonderful to have found a locally-based business which shares our passion for first aid training and is prepared to provide us with the funding required to reach out to school pupils in and around the Bracknell area.
Each year up to 150,000 die in situations where first aid may have saved them and the more people who know the basics, the more lives can be saved.”
Bracknell News editor Simon Williams added: "We hope as many schools as possible take up the fantastic opportunity of free first aid training.
"While pupils gain academic knowledge and skills at school that will almost certainly be of benefit as they progress through education and life, we sincerely hope they will never have to use the first aid lessons they learn for real. However, should they unfortunately find themselves in a situation where they have to help someone hopefully they will have the skills and confidence to potentially save someone's life."
Last updated on: 27/02/2012