More than 410,000 young people in England tuned in to watch a life saving lesson delivered by TV presenter Claudia Winkleman as part of St John Ambulance’s national Big First Aid Lesson.
In Lancashire, almost 8,500 young people at 79 schools took part in the event.
The free on-line seminar was streamed live into classrooms to teach young people skills such as how to help someone who is having an asthma attack or an allergic reaction – both of which are serious conditions that could become fatal if not dealt with promptly.
The charity chose summer-related conditions to help equip pupils ahead of the holidays.
Last year’s event – the first of its kind – involved more than 36,000 pupils, making this year’s event more than 10 times more popular, with 2,700 schools uniting to watch the lesson.
Claudia Winkleman said: “It’s brilliant that nearly half a million children now have the confidence to help in an emergency.
“I’m proud to be a part of events like these which give young people the opportunity to learn some crucial life saving skills.”
During the lesson, students heard a first-hand account from 12-year-old Kaitlyn Perkins, who used her first aid skills to help her brother when he severely cut his hand, as well as an interview with eight-year-old Sean Irwin, who came to the aid of his mother after she knocked herself out cold.
Classrooms also had opportunities to ask the charity’s first aid trainers questions via Google Hangouts.
St John Ambulance created the Big First Aid Lesson to help teachers overcome barriers, which teachers cited in research as preventing them from introducing first aid in school timetables.
Graham Ellis, regional training and community projects manager at St John Ambulance, said: “It’s our aim to arm a generation with life saving skills and today is a huge step in the right direction.”
• For more information about the Big First Aid Lesson, visit www.sja.org.uk/bigfirstaidlesson