SCHOOLS in Gloucestershire are being offered the opportunity to create a generation of young life savers – free of charge.

St John Ambulance is using funds raised in the area to deliver first aid training to seven to 11-year-olds as part of the charity’s aim of teaching 18,000 children in the South West region by the end of 2014.

Meanwhile, teachers can give pupils a taste of what the training covers next month via the Big First Aid Lesson, a free, interactive training online seminar being streamed live into classrooms across the South West on Friday June 20.

Regional training manager Jim Jones said: “We believe that first aid should be as much a part of growing up as learning to cross the road.

“It’s so easy to learn and can have such an incredible impact on people’s lives but, because it’s not compulsory on the national curriculum, only a minority of schoolchildren would know what to do if one of their classmates, or a member of their family became ill or injured.”

The call to train more youngsters comes as new research shows that 97 per cent of the area’s teachers think it’s vital to teach essential first aid skills in school, but only 22 per cent of schools offer training.

Teachers also cite lack of staff training (41 per cent), time (33 per cent) and cost (26 per cent) as barriers to introducing lessons into the classroom.

St John Ambulance is also looking for new first aid trainers to help meet demand for its training.

For more information or to book first aid training for schools, George Tarte on 01452 858225 or visit