Grants take CPR training to the community

3 June 2016

The Royal Life Saving Society WA believes that everyone in the community should learn the lifesaving skills of CPR and first aid, particularly parents of young children.

The Heart Beat Club grants program is an initiative of the Keep Watch toddler drowning prevention program. In many cases of child drowning, a parent or carer will be the first person on the scene and applying appropriate CPR skills may be the difference between life and death.

The grants aim to increase participation in CPR education for parents and carers of young children who may normally have barriers to accessing this training. The grants are available for organisations supporting families and parents from CaLD, Aboriginal and low socio-economic backgrounds.

In 2015/16, 34 Heart Beat Club courses were provided, reaching more than 400 parents and carers. These were delivered across the metropolitan area and regionally in Geraldton and Moora.

The hosting organisations were responsible for promoting the course to their community and providing a venue, and the sessions were delivered by Royal Life Saving Society WA community trainers.

Recent research by the Royal Life Saving Society WA found that parents of young children who were not born in Australia are significantly less likely to have completed CPR training. Positively, more of the Heart Beat Club sessions were attended by parents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, giving many of them their first introduction to the lifesaving skills of CPR and first aid.

Feedback from the organisations running the courses has been overwhelmingly positive. One organiser reported that “all of the participants left feeling that they would be able to help their children and others in an emergency situation, this of course helps them to be more confident as parents.”

Others commented that having the course available free of charge was of great benefit for parents in their community who were unlikely to be able to attend a paid course. “To offer such valuable information at no cost for parents who could not normally afford it is fantastic and was greatly appreciated” said one.

The Heart Beat Club grants program will be available again in 2016/17. The expression of interest will be circulated in July so if you work with parents who may be eligible for the funding, please get in touch with the Keep Watch Coordinator Stephanie Green at the link below.

The grants are delivered as part of the Keep Watch toddler drowning prevention program which aims to prevent drowning deaths and injuries in children under 5 years of age. Funding for the grants is provided by the Department of Health.