Charity’s plea for more Lowestoft residents to learn life-saving skills

Lowestoft St John Ambualnce are offering free first aid courses to people in the town.Neil Hartley r

Lowestoft St John Ambualnce are offering free first aid courses to people in the town.Neil Hartley running a course.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

More people in Lowestoft need to be equipped with basic life-saving skills in case of an emergency, a medical charity has warned after running a series of courses in the town as part of a new campaign.

Lowestoft St John Ambualnce are offering free first aid courses to people in the town.Neil Hartley r

Lowestoft St John Ambualnce are offering free first aid courses to people in the town.Neil Hartley running a course.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Staff at BBC Radio Suffolk were moved by the story of Jonathan Jenkyn, 38, from Ipswich, who was saved by his wife Sacha when he went into cardiac arrest in the middle of last year because she managed to give him CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

As a result the station decided it was important to try and ensure more people have those crucial skills, as without them Mrs Jenkyn would not have been able to revive her husband and save his life.

So they teamed up with St John Ambulance to organise courses across Suffolk to give more people the necessary training and knowledge.

So many people have responded that extra courses - treble the original capacity - that more were put on to cope with demand.

Lowestoft St John Ambualnce are offering free first aid courses to people in the town.Neil Hartley r

Lowestoft St John Ambualnce are offering free first aid courses to people in the town.Neil Hartley running a course.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The hour-long sessions took place at the St John Ambulance Centre in Oxford Road, Lowestoft on Tuesday (January 26).

Linda Walker, from BBC Radio Suffolk, said: 'Jonathan admitted that had it been the other way round, there is a strong possibility he could've been a widower.

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'It really stuck with us here and we felt we needed to do something to further this.

'We launched it a week ago and we were completely blown away by the response.'

Neil Hartley, charities and community first aid trainer for St John Ambulance - who led the Lowestoft sessions - said: 'I'm really passionate about getting more people trained.

'It's so important. Sometimes you're not going to be able to do anything but even if you ring 999, it's going to help. If someone is really hurt, they need help - time is critical and the quicker they get help the better.'

He said he had seen instances where people had stood around and watched as someone collapsed - partly because they do not know what to do but sometimes, he believes, because some people do not want to get involved.

However he added that life-saving skills may not just be required to help strangers in the street - people's own friends and relatives might find themselves in a situation where they need their help, he said.

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