Kids pick up life-saving skills

Primary school pupils in West Auckland have become the first to pick up free first aid training as part of a pilot scheme by one of the north east’s largest housing associations.


More than 100 students at Oakley Cross Primary School have learnt vital skills that could help their friends and families in an accident thanks to County Durham Housing Group. The group has co-ordinated the training in partnership with St John Ambulance and using funding secured from public sector procurement consultancy Prosper.

Four classes at the school, ranging from year 2 to year 6, went through the training with a fully qualified first aid trainer from St John Ambulance. The pupils learnt when they should assist someone in trouble and some of the simple steps they can take whilst waiting for help to arrive. They were taught the importance of keeping airways clear using the recovery position, plus how to deal with bleeding and use bandaging.

County Durham Housing Group Community Investment Officer, Kimberley Batey, said: “It was great to see the children at Oakley Cross so keen to learn and determined to do everything they can to help their friends and families should the worst happen.

“First aid is a key life skill and the children enjoyed picking it up so much. If this pilot is successful we’ll look at ways to roll out this training across more of County Durham.”

Oakley Cross Primary School teacher Lisa Geraty said: “The children are now confident in what to do in an emergency and can put someone in the recovery position and manage bleeding. We have children from year 2 to year 6 who have learned so much from the sessions and will be able to manage in an emergency situation.”

West Auckland has been identified by County Durham Housing Group as a priority area, which means that extra support and funding is being provided to assist residents with training, education and employability.