British Red Cross

British Red Cross offers first aid advice ahead of Bonfire Night

Press Release   •   Nov 02, 2011 11:05 GMT

Students from Castle View Enterprise Academy in Sunderland will on Thursday (3 November 2011) learn and share a unique first aid and fire safety workshop from the British Red Cross.

The programme is part of a wider project which has seen the British Red Cross team up with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, to teach thousands of children and young people in the North East, life-saving skills to stay safe this Bonfire Night.

Mel Williams, youth and schools manager for the Red Cross in the North East says over 3,500 children and young people from schools across the North East will have learnt fire safety tips and basic first aid skills from the charity by 5 November (Bonfire night).

She said: “The workshops make it really easy for young people to learn vital first aid skills, like how to deal with burns or call the emergency services.

“The children have really enjoyed learning first aid and said they felt confident they would know what to do if a friend or family member needed help. We’re delighted that they want to try and pass on what they have learnt to others so they can stay safe too,” Mel explained.

The British Red Cross has also been campaigning to get the government to adopt first aid and humanitarian education in the schools curriculum. The charity has launched an online petition, allowing teachers and parents to register their support with a call to their local MPs, hoping to persuade politicians of the importance of a fully rounded education. This can be accessed by typing in:

Jackie Smith, Beyond School Leader at Castle View Enterprise Academy said: "Bonfire Night is a really exciting time for young people, but it is also important that they are taught how to enjoy it safely and what to do if things go wrong. The first aid workshops with the Red Cross gave them the life skills to keep themselves safe and help others."

"All teachers can access free lessons to teach children to stay safe and help others, from the Red Cross Life. Live it. website: "

Meanwhile, the British Red Cross have come up with some Bonfire themed tips to help keep everybody safe:

     Scorched, singed and sizzling! That’s what someone’s skin will be doing if they come into contact with the hot and sparkly bit. Just to add to the ‘ssssssss’ there will probably be screams as well!

     Put the burned area under cold running water as soon as possible for at least 10 minutes - yes 10 minutes! This will stop the ‘cooking’ effect

     Any cold liquid will do if you do not have access to water. For example a glass of squash or a cold beer – oh come on, there’s plenty more!

     Refrain from putting any lotions, creams, butter or oils on the burn, they will not help the situation and may cause more pain if they have to be removed later on

     Keep calm! Especially if helping someone else – panicking will get you nowhere

        Loosely wrap cling film around the burn, or use a clean plastic bag, to protect the area from infection.

        Every child that receives a burn should be checked over by a medical professional. For adults, seek medical advice if you are overly concerned

       Remember, remember the 5th of November….. is a time to have fun and enjoy yourself. To ensure that your fireworks night goes off with a bang, brush up on your first aid skills at  so that everyone is safe.

The Red Cross’ free online resource features videos, real-life scenarios, animations and downloadable content which is easy to learn and easy to remember. It can be accessed online at


Notes to editors

• For press enquires, images or to arrange an interview, please contact Henry Makiwa on 02078777479 / or Catherine Bates on 01158505954 or 07834527105 /

• Reporters and photographers are invited to attend a special first aid lesson given by students from Castle View Enterprise Academy on Thursday 3 November at 11am at Cartwright Road, Sunderland, SR5 3DX.

• Photo/filming opportunity: Students will be showing their friends how to treat a burn and other fire safety skills after taking part in lessons with the Red Cross in the lead up to Bonfire night.

• To take part in the British Red Cross online petition supporting the inclusion of first aid and humanitarian education in the schools curriculum, log in online on:

• Earlier this year the Red Cross launched a free first aid teaching resource for all primary school teachers, tailor-made for teaching first aid skills to children aged 5 to 11. The new teaching package is part of the British Red Cross Life. Live it campaign to bring first aid to youngsters through learning in the classroom and outside school. The free, easy-to-use teaching resource is accessible online from today on the Red Cross website:

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives. For further information please visit