20 February 2009
Jonathan Banks/British Red Cross
Students at one school in the UK must feel they’re sitting in the safest classrooms in the country – because every student is on the way to learning first aid skills with the British Red Cross.
For the past year, the Red Cross has been teaching first aid – and first aid training – skills to a selection of students at Churchfields Secondary School in Swindon. Equipped with life-saving skills, these young peer educators are now passing on their knowledge to their peers at school.
At a special showcase day at the school on 13 February, 28 Red Cross peer educators spent the day teaching first aid basics to scores of pupils aged 13 to 15 years. The project is based on the British Red Cross’ Life: Live It. first aid programme.
Tony Pilling, peer education coordinator, said: “The response to the idea has been phenomenal. I can’t put into words how well the pupils have done. We’re aiming for the whole school to have first aid skills within two years.”
He added: “The peer educators have coped very well. Days like these give them the opportunity to make other students’ lives better and give something back to the community.”
Jane Cooper, first aid marketing officer, said: “We were looking for a school to work with and the way Churchfields has involved peer educators is brilliant. We wanted this scheme to act as a role model for other schools and it definitely will.”
‘Training is important’
Peer educator Jade Dance (16) said: “I’ve been teaching the recovery position, how to bandage a cut hand and techniques to stop bleeding. This training is really important because if we ever find ourselves in the position where someone has been injured, we’ll have the confidence to help them.”
Even the local mayor, Steve Wakefield, turned up to see what was happening and he was also very impressed. He said: “What an exceptional event to be invited along to. It’s commendable of the peer educators to be teaching others how to administer first aid – and well done to the pupils.”
Jane added: “Successfully introducing first aid into the curriculum requires – above all – enthusiasm and dedication, which Churchfields School seems to have in abundance.”
First aid education kit for teachers
Free resources to help teach first aid
First aid on the curriculum
Learn first aid