Heartstart in Thatcham? (update)

I have been looking at the possibility of setting a Heartstart group in Thatcham. The course is organised by the British Heart Foundation. If you have not heard about the course/idea then please take a look at the booklet about it at http://bit.ly/HeartStartInfo_Jan2013.  I have several people who have said they would like to get involved and a dozen more wanted to find out more or get trained.

What I am trying to do is to set a group up that can offer this course to the community of Thatcham. The course is approx. two hours long, offered to the community for free and teaches basic Emergency Life Saving (ELS) skills. After this participants could then do more advanced training with the likes of St John Ambulance for example.

At present I am just looking to see if people are interested, are willing to find more information out and possibly get involved. I am not asking for any commitment yet, unless you want to commit. Is this something that you and/or any of your team would be willing to get involved with?

The Course

A bit about the course, I am sure you know this already, but just in-case. The course lasts approx. two hours and has to be delivered for free and teaches basic ELS skills.

I have spoken to a few people who have said they have not done any training like this due to cost, or the large groups, or the length of the course, etc. So I see this as a perfect way to draw people in and get basic training so when/if, the situation arises they can make the difference. For some of them this will be enough but I can see some of them going on and improving their skills with the likes of St John Ambulance and/or becoming Heartstart Instructors.

The course would be offered to the community who would have to book in advance. I would very much like to involve the schools as well, staged delivery can be done from the age of five but to undertake the whole course they must be 10 or over. Depending on interest it may be that a small venue could be used for a single instructor to train two people say one Saturday a month. I would hope there is greater interest than that though. So we may for example need a venue such as Kennet School, Frank Hutchings Community Hall or Burdwood Community Hall with say four instructors allowing eight people to be trained at a time, once a month. It may turn out more or less frequent sessions are required.

What I am looking for

At present my main concerns are finding people interested to fill specific positions in the group. There are obviously usual posts to fill (secretary, treasurer, etc.) but the ones that I need medical help with are:

  • Scheme Director
    • Must have a medical or healthcare professional background and can advise on issues relating to resuscitation training and practice.
  • Training Supervisor
    • Qualified and experienced to train and assess instructors. The Training Supervisor is responsible for:
      • training and assessing your scheme’s instructors
      • acting as advisor on ELS training
      • overseeing the quality of ELS training
      • keeping the scheme up-to-date on Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines.
  • Instructors
    • This can be anyone who has been trained by the above, or passed by the above.


I am looking to start a Heartstart group. If you are interested in helping to run such a course please contact me, there is a meeting to be held in early March, alternatively come and see me/us at the Thatcham Volunteer Fair on 16th March 2013, 10 a.m. til 3 p.m. at the Catholic Hall, Bath Road, Thatcham.

Please note, the course is not yet set-up and is not currently affiliated with the British Heart Foundation.