Vital lesson that could help save a friend's life
VITAL first-aid skills have been taught at a session aimed specifically at African Caribbean people in the city.
The event at the Victoria Leisure Centre, in Sneinton, was organised because African Caribbean people have a higher risk of heart disease and are two times more likely to have a stroke or develop diabetes than other races.
And more than 100 people turned up to learn how to perform CPR and other life-saving techniques.
It was run by an organisation called BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Cancer Communities and the British Heart Foundation.
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Organiser Rose Thompson said: "My father died of a heart attack at home and my husband has a heart condition caused by high blood pressure and we've nearly lost him several times because of it.
"This is why first-aid training is so important.
"African Caribbeans have the highest blood pressure, they are twice as likely to suffer a stroke and more than twice as likely to develop diabetes, so these people need to be prepared.
"I'm ever so pleased to see so many people braving the snow to come here today."
People who attended the event learned how to perform CPR and watched a video which demonstrated what to do if someone was choking.
The session was part of a wider programme of events, including Come Yam With Me – healthy eating sessions which give advice and provide traditional Caribbean recipes made with low fat ingredients.
Weekly aerobics sessions are also being run as part of the initiative.
Volunteer Bettina Wallace, who was helping out on Saturday, was inspired to get involved with the project by the memory of her father, who died of a heart attack.
The 59-year-old, of Bakersfield, said: "African Caribbeans tend to cook with a lot of fat and a lot of salt and part of my role is to encourage people to substitute these ingredients with something else.
"There are lots of people who could go on to have a heart attack because of their lifestyle and if we can encourage people to look after themselves and take care of their bodies, then we are teaching children good habits and living longer."
Among the people attended the first-aid training session was Dwayne Kinkead, 29, of Wollaton.
"The more you know the better you can handle a situation," he said.
"I've got no official first-aid training, just bits and pieces that I've picked up from experiences. But I'd like to be more prepared and know how to react and assess things, maybe even before they happen.
"It could be the difference between saving someone's life and death."
Elaine Harrison, 45, of Sherwood, was also at the session.
She said: "I just think it's an important skill to have.
"I was appointed as a first-aider in a job I had a couple of years ago but I don't have any formal training.
"The advert talked about high numbers of black and minority ethnic people that have high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.
"If this means I can save the life of a member of my family then its well worth it."