Charity gets city council support to help spread life-saving skills
Posted: Mon, 07 Apr 2014
A LOCAL charity is set to receive city council support to help with its work teaching people vital life-saving skills.
Leicester City Council's sports services department will provide instructors to help deliver CPR training, working in partnership with the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT).
The charity has come up with the idea of making sure local sports clubs can access free training in emergency life support skills.
The training, called Joe's Mini HeartStart 4 Sports, teaches people of all ages cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques and how to use a defibrillator – a device that delivers an electric shock to the heart to try and restart it. It follows the principles of the British Heart Foundation's HeartStart programme, which teaches people emergency life support skills.
Council staff from sports services, who are experts in emergency life support training, will provide CPR and defibrillator awareness training sessions to a range of sports clubs in the city. A sum of £6,000 has been allocated, which will enable upwards of 500 people to be trained.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who is the council's lead for health and wellbeing, said:
"I'm really pleased that we can support the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust by providing funds for specialist trainers to go in and teach sports clubs these vital skills.
"Sudden heart conditions like SADS can affect anyone, at any time – and when they do, the faster someone can start CPR, the better. That's why this is such a good cause – because it will equip more people with the skills they need to save a life."
Local football clubs Aylestone Park and AFC Andrews have already taken advantage of the training, and next on the list is Knighton Park Table Tennis Club.
David Morley from the club said:
"We're delighted to be taking up this training for the members and players at our club.
"Table tennis is excellent aerobic exercise that attracts players from a wide age range. This is a chance for us all to learn a few simple skills that could make a huge difference."
SADS can sometimes – but not always – be triggered by the physical exertion of sport. It's a silent killer, caused by an underlying heart problem, which you wouldn't know you had. However, in many cases there are clues and warning symptoms which can be overlooked.
Charles Poole from the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust said:
"This support from the council is a fantastic boost for us, and means we will be able to extend our offer of free training to more sports clubs in the city and county. We're committed to creating a safer sporting environment by making sure as many people as possible learn what they should do if someone collapses from a sudden cardiac arrest.
"We know that the clubs who have already taken up our training have gained immense benefits from the programme, and we hope this will encourage more clubs to follow."
Joe Humphries died in October 2012, aged 14, whilst returning home from a training run near his home in Rothley. Since then, his family and friends have campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of SADS and for more people to be trained in vital life-saving skills.
Any sports clubs wanting to register their interest in the training can email email@example.com