Two Wellington parents have used a terrifying experience involving their young son to set up a new charity, Project Gift. The aim is to fund paediatric first aid training for parents provided by the British Red Cross. To raise money for courses the couple – Alice and Darren Burns – are seeking donations of toys to sell at local events. All the proceeds will go towards funding training courses.
Alice explained how Project Gift began: “In October last year our son suffered two severe asthma attacks. The second one was life-threatening and he developed ‘silent lung’ where the lungs stop working. We nearly lost him and had we been anywhere else but hospital the outcome would have been very different. Staff were able to revive him and he is now doing well; he celebrated his 4th birthday just before Christmas.”
“Fortunately we were in hospital when this happened or we wouldn’t have known what to do other than call an ambulance. We don’t know how to give CPR and would have been helpless.”
“As a result of this experience we looked around and found there was nowhere for us to access paediatric first aid without having to pay for it ourselves. We contacted organisations and the British Red Cross kindly offered training at a reduced rate. They are an established organisation already used by other groups such as the National Childbirth Trust locally, so we feel they are reliable.”
“The paediatric first aid courses will be run at the end of this year at Wellington Medical Centre and places will be offered on a first come, first served basis. A date will be announced later when parents can book places – and they will not have to pay a penny.”
“We want parents who have gone through trauma and those whose children have been never been unwell to have confidence, understanding and skills to use should they need them. We want to be prepared to perform CPR on our son in the future or use first aid on any of our three young children and would like to help other parents feel prepared too.”
Alice and Darren have already held their first toy sale at Beech Grove School and are looking for more toys in good, clean working order to collect from around the Wellington/Taunton area. Their Project Gift website can be found on firstname.lastname@example.org