Helping to make Mini-Medics out of mischievous mites

Union Matters

Pictured: Mark Anthony, Lianne Langford, Nancy Hamilton, Trevor Hamilton, John Mensah, and Pete Donaghy with some of Eldon Schools Mini-medics

CWU North/North West London Branch and London Region are supporting a local project teaching vital first-aid techniques to local youngsters…

“Who’s your favourite superhero?” lead CPR trainer Trevor Hamilton asks a group of enthusiastic Year Four children at a north London school.

Shoutouts vary from the traditional – “Spider Man!” “Batman!” “Catwoman!” – to the more contemporary – “Deadpool!” “Black Widow!” and: “What about Batgirl?” – while superpower preferences include invisibility, speed, strength and “teleportation.”

But there is a unanimous response when Trevor asks: “Who are the superheroes in the real world?”

“NHS!” Comes the reply from the assembled pupils of River Severn Class at Eldon Primary School in Edmonton, with “saving lives” identified as their superpower.

This imaginative and engaging opening gives Trevor the opportunity to introduce his “superhero” and “life-saving” colleagues Lianne Langford and Nancy Hamilton to the class and begin to explain, with a CPR training mannequin, the basic first responses to a possible heart attack.

After this, the class splits into groups for some hands-on training – Trevor, Lianne, Nancy and Eldon teaching assistant Tanya Demetriou leading each group as they practise the essential steps on the dummies, and then learn how to put one another into the recovery position.

The learning project, which is called Mini-Medics, is provided by local not-for-profit organisation Effective Transition, in partnership with Workplace Safety Training (WPST) who are providing the expert tutoring.

It was the local authority-run Edmonton Community Partnership that introduced Effective Transition to Eldon Primary School. And funding for this initiative has come from both the CWU North/Northwest London Branch and the CWU London Region.

Branch secretary John Mensah tells CWU News: “This is such an important life skill and we wanted to give it our support and backing. WPST and Effective Transition do some great work in this area and we’re proud to be able to help.”

Area safety rep Mark Anthony adds: “It’s so wonderful to hear some of these kids at the end of these training sessions saying they want to be doctors or paramedics when they grow up – it shows that this kind of learning is not only a big practical help for people, but also lifts these youngsters’ ambitions as well.”

Mark and John worked with Eldon Primary School’s safeguarding officer Lesley Ansell to set up the Mini-Medics programme and Mrs Ansell explains that this afternoon’s session is the third of five, which will include all of the school’s approximately 150 Year Four children.

After the group work, Trevor speaks to the whole class again, thanks them all for their efforts and then the children are called up to the front one-by-one to receive their certificates, booklets, pens and their CWU-branded Mini-Medics T-shirts.

Speaking afterwards, CWU London Region secretary Ian Murphy says: “This is a fantastic initiative and it’s great to see these kids learning with such enthusiasm. Much better behaved than I was at that age – a real credit to them and to their teachers at this school.

“Trevor does a great job presenting this event and Lianne and Nancy are superb too,” he continues, adding: “I’m grateful that John and Mark sought their branch’s support and the region’s support for this project – and very pleased that the CWU has been able to help.”

  • For those who went to school before the current year-numbering system was introduced, ‘Year Four’ children are aged eight and nine. Back when our London Region secretary was that age, he was a ‘second-year junior’ – and apparently not a very well-behaved one!