Calling all Wiltshire's young first aiders

Schools in Wiltshire are being urged to come forward to take part in a national first aid competition aimed at celebrating young people’s life saving skills.

The St John Ambulance National Schools’ First Aid Competition encourages school teams from across the country to battle it out against their peers by carrying out first aid in a variety of scenarios on live ‘casualties’.

The contest – held in elimination rounds followed by a national final at Drayton Manor theme park, Tamworth, in June 2013 – tests young people’s first aid knowledge, communication skills and teamwork.

St John Ambulance is now on the search for school teams to take part especially as Wiltshire produced the winning junior team in 2012.

Teams of four plus a reserve can enter junior and senior categories and will take part in regional rounds to be held at the Avon and Somerset Police headquarters in Portishead near Bristol on May 23.

To enter, the teams must have completed levels from the St John Ambulance Young First Aider pack, which is available via the charity’s online teaching resource www.teachthedifference.org.uk and submit their online applications by 15 February 2013. Gilly Boote, schools liaison officer at St John Ambulance, said: ‘First aid is not only a vital life skill, it also improves self-esteem, develops confidence and fosters a sense of belonging, which is why we’re encouraging more schools to give their students a chance to learn it.

’The competition is a great way for young people to strengthen their knowledge while having fun. We use acting casualties who demonstrate a variety of everyday emergencies so, what could be a better way for the pupils to test their skills?’ Charlie Tilley, a pupil from All Cannings Primary School, whose team won the junior category in this year’s competition said: ‘We were really nervous before taking part but when you're competing you have to forget about your nerves, just like you would do if you were in a real life emergency. It's good to know that we can help any of our friends or family if they needed it.’ St John Ambulance teaches valuable life skills to young people by training them in first aid, in schools and through its youth schemes. In 2011 its first aid materials equipped over 640,000 young people with valuable life skills.

The charity’s Young First Aider pack is easy for both teachers and pupils to use and there’s still time for schools to receive it and take part in the competition.

For more information and to enter the competitions or to contact your nearest schools trainer, telephone 08700 10 49 50 or visit www.teachthedifference.org.uk

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