First business in first aid for babies for Wymondham dad and nurse

Paediatric nurse, Joe Ellis-Gage, and his family, wife, Carolyn, eight-month-old Archie; Anna, centr

Paediatric nurse, Joe Ellis-Gage, and his family, wife, Carolyn, eight-month-old Archie; Anna, centre, six; and Iris, four; at their home in Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A dad-of-three, and children's nurse, could help parents and carers save lives with his new business

When friends began asking dad and nurse Joe Ellis-Gage for first aid tips it sparked an idea which is helping spread life-saving skills.

The father of three realised many parents and grandparents did not know how to deal with childhood injuries and illnesses, so he set up his own first aid classes.

He has just launched Mini First Aid Norfolk and will be running regular classes across much of Norfolk and north Suffolk – the first dad to become a Mini First Aid trainer.

Mini First Aid Suffolk is also coming soon, with another trainer.

Joe, who grew up in Diss, began his career as a nursery nurse before moving into children's nursing. He has been a paediatric nurse for the past 10 years, working in accident and emergency departments and in community settings. He will continue working some shifts as a nurse, alongside his first aid training.

He began teaching first aid when some friends revealed they were worried about their baby choking. 'They had been through all the ante-natal classes but when they got to weaning their baby they were very nervous about it,' he said.

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He taught them how to deal with choking in babies and small children, and, realising there was a gap in provision, began researching how do set up a series of classes as a business and came across the Mini First Aid concept.

With no one running classes in Norfolk he was soon signed up to the franchise.

As well as training parents and carers, he also hopes to teach basic first aid skills to children, and offer courses in first aid qualifications for people working with children.

Joe said even very young children can be taught how and when to dial 999, and his classes for seven-12-year-olds will include practising bandaging, resuscitation and the recovery position, and learning how to deal with choking, bumps to the head and other emergencies.

'I have been surprised by how many parents say they wished they had known all this with their first children.,' said Joe, 'And grandparents are super-keen because they are very often looking after young children today. My mum is going to do a course!'

He lives in Wymondham with his wife, Carolyn, a primary school teacher, and their three children and is pleased he has not had many occasions to demonstrate his first aid skills within his own family.

Joe will be running regular sessions at the Willow Centre, Cringleford, near Norwich; Beccles Station Café and Community Rooms, Sheringham Community Centre, Diss United Reform Church, and at Taverham Village Hall, Brundall Recreation and Memorial Hall, and The Play Barn, Poringland, all near Norwich.

The baby and toddler classes, for parents and carers, cover choking, basic life support, dealing with burns, breaks and bumps, febrile seizures, and meningitis awareness, in a two-hour session costing £20 per person.

Joe also offers private classes for small groups

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