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Youngsters share their first aid experience

School pupils have shared their first aid expertise with Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller thanks to training from a charity.

MP Andrew Miller recently experienced first hand the life saving work done by St John Ambulance, at the charity’s headquarters in the grounds of the Countess of Chester Hospital, when he met children from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School in Ellesmere Port, who have been taking part in the injury minimisation programme for schools (IMPS).

The scheme has offered more than 3,500 children from across the county free training with first aid experts from St John Ambulance Cheshire.

Organisers say that the programme, aimed at 10 to 11-year-olds, has been an “incredible success”.

In January 2008 school pupil, Sam Holmes from Ellesmere Port, used back slaps to help stop his friend from choking and in 2002 Lewis Edwards, who attended Woodfield Primary School in Newton, Chester, saved his baby brother from choking on a coin.

Steve Peaurt, county executive officer for SJA Cheshire, said: “First aid should be as important a part of growing up as learning to tie your shoe laces. Through our IMPS programme we equip the next generation with invaluable life skills by teaching them first aid so that they can be the difference between a life saved and a life lost.

The programme costs about £50,000 per year to run and our fundraising efforts never stop, we’re constantly looking for new supporters to help us keep this and our other programmes.”

Steve continued: “We also run a Babysafe programme teaching first aid skills to parents, grandparents and carers in our training centre and in Children’s Centres in Cheshire. Ideally we would like the funding to be able to expand this programme to centres across Cheshire.”

Andrew Miller, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, said: “Every child should be taught first aid at school, so that they could one day be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Watching these children today really brings into focus that first aid saves lives, and I commend St John Ambulance for their work.”

Helen Lee, St John Ambulance IMPS Co-ordinator in Cheshire said: “I feel it is important that the children in our county receive this training. These young people will carry their life saving skills with them into adulthood and who knows what future impact they might have on the people around them, four lives have already been saved by our students.”