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Youngsters urge MSPs to back first aid teaching in schools

A teenager and two ten-year-old girls will speak to a Holyrood committee on Thursday.

Aid: Classes could help save lives.
Aid: Classes could help save lives.

A teenager and two ten-year-old girls are urging the Scottish Government to back the teaching of first aid in primary schools across the country.

The trio will appear before a Holyrood committee and join St Andrew's First Aid chief executive Stuart Callison in urging MSPs to back a petition calling for training to be part of the school curriculum.

The petition was lodged with the Scottish Parliament in November and gained around 600 signatures.

Rebecca Russell, who studies at City of Glasgow College, joined the voluntary organisation at the age of ten and is now a youth leader teaching young cadets at Ibrox Parish Church.

The 18-year-old said: "If all kids learned these skills there would definitely be fewer deaths.

"Say for instance a parent collapses at home, a child who sees this happen would be potentially able to save the life of that family member.

"It could be the difference between life and death. Not only that, it could be passed down from generation to generation.

"It would also be beneficial for paramedics as they would know there is a child there who knows how to keep a person stable and prevent more damage happening before they arrive."

Also appearing before the Public Petitions Committee are Ellie Meek and Millie Robinson, both aged ten and pupils at Parkhead School in West Calder.

The pair are involved in the St Andrew's First Aid Thistles - a weekly educational programme where they learn the history of the group and life skills.

Mr Callison said: "Rebecca, Millie and Ellie are fantastic examples of how young people can learn about first aid when in primary school.

"Rebecca has carried this with her through her life and it gave her the confidence to help strangers in need and shape her future career."

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