130 young people from three Liverpool schools are ready to save lives, thanks to the launch of a new initiative.
Pupils from King David High School, Childwall Sports and Science Academy and Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College have been given first aid training by the Oliver King Foundation.
The scheme, supported by Liverpool City Council, has been set up in honour of former King David High School pupil, Oliver King. The fit and active 12-year old, who was a talented footballer, died during a swimming lesson in 2011, after being struck down by Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), which tends to affect healthy young people.
The first aid training forms part of The Oliver King Foundation’s aims to eventually make first aid training a compulsory part of the school curriculum. Council staff worked with the 130 young people to show them how to treat people in case of a medical emergency.
They were joined for the launch at King David by Oliver’s dad Mark, Liverpool councillor Jake Morrison, a patron of the campaign, and Hollyoaks star James Sutton.
Councillor Morrison said “We showed the young people how to deal with people who are unconscious, what to do to stem bleeding and how to help someone who is choking.
“The feedback was superb and they were very interested in knowing how to use defibrillators because they’ve heard a lot about the campaign.
“There are 10,000 young people aged between 14 and 16 in Liverpool and we want to roll out the training to all of them.
“Statistics show that if a parent or a relative has a collapse or takes ill having someone around who has first-aid training greatly improves their chance of survival.”
The Oliver King Foundation has also been successful in gaining more than 110,000 signatures for its e-petition to trigger a Commons debate on the need for defibrillators in all schools.
The debate takes place on Monday 25 March at Westminster Hall, London, with Mark King and Councillor Jake Morrison in attendance.
SADS causes a cardiac arrest by bringing on a disturbance in the heart’s rhythm, even though the person has no structural heart disease. Twelve young people a week die from the condition.