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  1. ITV Report

Paul Gardner's memory to live on with CPR sessions

Paul Gardner Photo: Family photo

By Kris Jepson

A children's first aid group has offered its services to a North Shields man who wants to promote CPR education following the death of his step son.

Speaking to ITV News Tyne Tees last week, Billy Ions vowed to raise awareness and promote CPR education in schools following the death of his step son, Paul Gardner.

Paul died on his 24th birthday after jumping into the sea and swallowing water. He was the only one of his friends who knew CPR and could not be revived.

The Tumbles and Grumbles children's first aid and CPR group has offered to help Mr Ions achieve his goal.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

Three weeks after Paul died, Billy Ions attended a session by the group. It teaches three to 11-year-olds the basics in first aid and CPR through teamwork and play.

He told ITV News Paul would have thought it was "class".

It's obviously pricked a lot of people’s consciousness in a sense where they’ve got in contact with us, for us to work together with these people and what they’re doing with these kids from an early age is really, really good. I hope they can put this into the schools rather than doing them in community centres and having the parents, themselves, having to pay for it. It should be compulsory and we should be working together and get this put forward so it is.

– Billy Ions, Paul's step dad
CPR sessions Credit: ITV News

The government is planning on introducing compulsory basic first aid training into primary schools and first aid with CPR education into secondary schools from 2020.

The Tumbles and Grumbles group already operates in schools and organisations across the region.

The group says these core life saving skills can easily be taught to younger primary school age children, because they absorb the information when it is delivered in an engaging way.

We show them how to stay safe firstly, how to call 999, and then how to save a life if they need to. It's fairly well researched that children learn very well through play and through experiential learning and so we bring that to the sessions so it's all led by fun music, play, teamwork, we have a lot of characters involved. Obviously it's all age appropriate so we have more characters for the younger ones. As we get older it's kind of more team work and play based, but it's really important to keep it light-hearted, because it's a really serious subject, but children aren’t going to just sit at a desk and listen to 'you must do this, if this happens', you know, we want to make it engaging and long term so there’s no fear factor involved and they’re happy to help from an early age.

– Caroline Davies, Tumbles & Grumbles