A pupil from Hartshill Academy, trained to deliver CPR and defibrillator awareness, has helped to launch a new community access defibrillator at Maya restaurant in Atherstone alongside the Mayor of North Warwickshire Borough Council, Cllr Ray Jarvis, and Cllr Mejar Singh from Warwickshire County Council.

Year 8 pupil Charlie Leeke, 13, from Nuneaton, has been practising the techniques of CPR and defibrillator use since he was seven years old as part of the charity North Warwickshire Community First Responders (NWCFR) which is currently run by his mother Samantha Hall.

Charlie helps the charity regularly by teaching others how to carry out CPR and use defibrillators that are available to the public in an emergency. He is due to deliver training for Atherstone Football Club and the Maya restaurant in Atherstone as well as to the wider public through a range of community groups.

Samantha Hall said, “Charlie has been an asset to our charity from a very young age and often leads his own groups to teach them this vital skill. He relates well to people of all ages and has a great rapport with them. Charlie helps to convince people that anyone can tackle CPR by following the right advice and simple instructions. He really enjoys taking part and interacts so well with everyone at the sessions.”

Samantha Hall works as a student paramedic apprentice for the West Midlands Ambulance Service and is on the way to qualifying as a paramedic after switching to a clinical role in the NHS following 13 years in the finance department.

Lorraine Taylor, Principal of Hartshill Academy said, “We are very proud of Charlie who is a fantastic ambassador for the school through his work with this important local charity. His role has helped him to grow in confidence and we wish him luck with his future work.”

Samantha added, “North Warwickshire First Responders attend 999 calls locally in cases of potential cardiac arrest or other life-threatening emergencies ahead of the ambulance as they are often able to get there more quickly. We have a team of nine volunteers who dedicate 20 hours each month on call. We are recruiting again shortly, and the charity is always looking for support and donations. We are grateful to Warwickshire County Council for its funding for the defibrillator in Atherstone.”