accessibility & help

Wiltshire Grandfather encourages others to learn first aid with the British Red Cross

For immediate release: Friday 6 January, 2012
For further information: Samantha Whitwham
Contact number: 0117 3012624 or 07525 128 297

A Grandfather from Purton who regularly looks after his young grandchildren has learned some life saving skills to help prepare for an emergency, and he encourages other Wiltshire grandparents to do the same.

Irving Winson, 79, who has six grandchildren aged under 12, recently attended a British Red Cross first aid course designed specifically for older carers. Due to the success of this course, the Red Cross will hold a second course at Westlea Fire Station, Swindon on Tuesday 10 January.

Irving said: “My wife is a nurse and so I’ve always relied on her to act in an emergency – but there are odd occasions when she’s out and I’m left looking after the kids by myself. Having some first aid skills mean I’ll now know what to do if an accident should happen.”

The two-hour course uses the Red CrossEveryday First Aid approach – the charity’s simplest ever method of teaching life-saving skills – and gives participants the knowledge and confidence to respond if a child or baby starts choking, becomes unconscious or swallows something harmful. The course also covers dealing with burns, fractures, head injuries and bleeding.

Irving explained: “Recently, my youngest grandson, who’s just 12 months, swallowed a tiddlywink. Luckily, he didn’t choke and he was still able to breath, but he couldn’t eat and had a strange cough. The doctors were finally able to remove it, but it definitely made me think. Before doing this course I wouldn’t have know what to do if he had choked.”

Jo Riches, community based first aid coordinator in Wiltshire, said: “We felt that it was important to hold a course specifically for grandparents as more and more are responsible for caring for their grandchildren while parents return to work. Looking after children is a big responsibility and we hope that by inviting a group of grandparents to learn the skills together, they will see just how easy the techniques are. They can go away after two hours with basic first aid skills and the confidence to put them into practice should the need ever arise.

“The training is very relaxed and takes place in a group of likeminded people. Participants don’t need to be physically fit as the training can be adapted to suit everyone’s needs.”

Irving said: “It was a very good course and I’m glad that I have refreshed my skills. I did a first aid course many years ago but the techniques have changed over the years. This course was so simple and easy to grasp the key skills; I certainly feel I could respond to an emergency now if I had to.”

Developed specifically to be easy to learn, easy to do and easy to fit in with people’s busy lives, Everyday First Aid teaches what to do in real-life scenarios - such as a fall down the stairs or being scalded by a hot cup of tea.

The next First Aid for Grandparents course takes place between 10.45am and 1pm on Tuesday, 10 January, at the Westlea Fire Station, Drove Road, Swindon. The course costs £15.

To book a place, please call 01452 726661 or email

For more information about Everyday First Aid please visit


Notes to editors

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

Follow us on Twitter: BRC_West

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