Richard Donnelly
Ba Hons, PGCE

The former Head of Pre-Academy at Manchester United, Richard is a national scout for the Welsh FA, an educator for the English FA, an education consultant, professional soccer coach and also has over 20 years classroom teaching experience.

Fully qualified, accredited and industry insured, English FA qualified First Aid Tutor, Enhanced DBS, Over 20+years experience as a professional sports coach Volunteer ‘Ranger’ at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Safety First Centre.

Our mission is to provide businesses, schools and clubs with outstanding First Aid training so that more people in our communities have the confidence and skills to take action to support people who are in a life threatening situation.

Whilst travelling in August 2018, my family and I experienced one of the largest earthquakes to hit Lombok in the past 100 years. It was a life (and career) changing experience. We saw local communities devastated, with huge loss of life. We met inspirational disaster relief helpers, medics and health workers who were volunteering in the worst affected areas. In all our conversations with volunteers going into the earthquake zone, what struck us was the importance of basic first aid skills and the willingness to help.

Thanks to the power of Facebook, we were able to raise enough money to fill two trucks with food, water, essential baby supplies, hygiene products and shelter materials. Enabling a local charity to support two villages for almost a month. But this was a drop in the ocean.

During the aftermath of the earthquake, everyone we spoke to had similar questions: What can we do? How can we help? How can I help my child cope if someone is taken seriously ill or injured? For me and my wife the most powerful question was: How can I make sure that my child knows what to do in an emergency if there isn’t an adult nearby?

As a longstanding First Aider in both education and sports, I have been the first responder at a number of medical emergencies. But in Lombok I came to understand that if more people have basic first aid skills more people can be saved in an emergency.

Lombok was also a powerful reminder that health and happiness is paramount, and the ability to make a difference to a community is more rewarding than a career motivated by status and money.

On returning to the UK, I left my job as the Head of Pre-Academy at Manchester United Football Club and re-trained for my new role: training adults and children how to cope in emergency situations and giving them First Aid skills that might help save lives.

From personal experience…you never know when these skills could come in handy!

Supplies

FAC+T: On average there are 270 deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest in just UK schools each year.

FAC+T: St John’s Ambulance recently revealed that 140,000 people die each year in the UK from incidents where first aid might have saved their lives. Yet, nearly two-thirds of people (59%) within the UK wouldn’t feel confident enough to even try and save a life, and a quarter (24%) would do nothing and wait for an ambulance to arrive.

FAC+T: In countries such as Norway where they already teach CPR in schools the survival rate of 25% for bystander CPR is well above the 10% found in Great Britain!