accessibility & help

Volunteers teach first aid to Russian parents

6 March 2012

A group of Russian and Albanian mothers have benefitted from a tailor-made first aid course teaching vital skills that could help their children in a medical emergency.

The first aid course in Portsea, Portsmouth was arranged as part of a refugee services project which teaches migrants practical skills that can help integrate them into the local community.

Zuzana Bacova, project co-ordinator, acknowledged that the amount of parents with first aid training is surprisingly low and hopes courses such as this one can change that.

Flexible learning

She said: ‘Nine out of ten parents don’t know basic first aid. We believe any parent given the opportunity would love to increase their skills and confidence so they’ll know what to do, especially in an emergency situation involving their loved ones.’

Zuzana stressed that bespoke first aid sessions are particularly beneficial to those who don’t speak English as their first language: ‘Parents of other nationalities are likely to benefit more from classes designed around their needs, especially regarding their ability to speak English.’

The session provided a relaxed learning environment, where the mothers could explore a range of common juvenile first aid occurrences – such as what to do if a child is choking, suffers a burn or stops breathing.

Confidence in first aid

While the course was taught in English, its flexible structure meant the mothers were able to break off during the session and clarify with one another what they were being taught in their home language. 

By working at their own pace – and getting lots of hands-on practice – the mothers could feel more confident helping their children in emergency situations.

Luboua Petrenko, mother of a two-year-old son, was pleased with the teaching style of the course. She said: “The language today was clear and slow so I could follow it well and understand what was being said.”

For mother Anna Alamaa, taking the course has helped her feel more assured in her first aid skills. She said: “When your baby hurts itself, you can panic so it’s really good to know what to do. It’s all about confidence. It’s vital to know first aid – even with very little skills, you can save a life.”

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