Another year of incredible work from the Heart Heroes project

Heart Heroes performing cprEach academic year, the Heart Heroes project at The University of Manchester recruits and trains a team of student volunteers to deliver ‘Basic Life Support (BLS) skills’ training to groups of students, staff and external community members. The student volunteers deliver multiple sessions covering heart attacks and CPR, using Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), assisting individuals who are choking, and placing someone in the recovery position.

The volunteers for this year have been truly remarkable. Around 80 students applied for 40 positions, so the competition was tough. The students volunteering on the programme excelled and delivered Basic Life Support training to 267 participants at 19 sessions. Session feedback is always incredible, with participants often astounded that these volunteers, typically without a medical background, are delivering such high-quality training. One of the Heart Heroes, Bethany Rutter, deserves a special mention for using her training to help a man who had collapsed in the street in November 2022. 

During this year’s Volunteer of the Year Awards, Heart Heroes achieved an admirable second place in the Student Groups category, showcasing their remarkable performance and dedication. Heart Heroes Instructor, Caitlin Hunter was also highly commended in the Student Category.

The coordination of the Heart Heroes project falls under the responsibility of a small team comprising university staff members from the Volunteering and Peer Support teams. These staff members collaborate with Pat Conaghan, a Senior Lecturer in the Nursing department at The University, who delivers the practical skills training to the student instructors.

The University of Manchester Heart Heroes instructors are always on the lookout for groups who are interested in taking part in a session. Since 2013, the student instructors have delivered sessions to 1750+ participants and consistently receive positive feedback on the quality of the sessions.   

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