Around 50,000 schoolchildren will learn lifesaving skills thanks to a city daily’s campaign which went national.
The Glasgow Evening Times launched its Glasgow’s Got Heart campaign after learning from British Heart Foundation Scotland that the city has the highest number of cardiac arrests in the UK.
As a result of pressure by the Evening Times, Glasgow City Council agreed to become the first local authority in the United Kingdom to introduce heart resuscitation training across schools.
The newspaper then got behind the charity’s Scotland-wide drive and last week Moray, Falkirk and Fife Councils pledged to join the 29 other local authorities already signed up – meaning every single council in Scotland has committed to delivering the programme.
The announcement provided a splash for the Evening Times on Friday.
Health and campaigns reporter Caroline Wilson led the campaign, which has been nominated in the local campaign of the year category at the Scottish Press Awards.
She told HTFP: “The Evening Times took direct action after learning from British Heart Foundation Scotland that Glasgow has the highest number of cardiac arrests in the UK due to the well recognised link between deprivation and health. We were told that people living in the city are also less likely to survive a cardiac arrest because research shows that CPR training levels are lowest in cities with a high deprivation quota.
“We decided to put pressure on Glasgow City Council to become the first Uk city to roll-out CPR training to all secondary school pupils. While some Glasgow schools were already doing a lot of good work with the help of free training kits supplied by the BHF, training coverage was patchy – and we were told, uptake rates were worst in deprived areas.
“After sustained pressure and a series of hard-hitting articles, the city council agreed to put in place a strategy to ensure every school trains all pupils at some point in the curriculum. With continued pressure from British Heart Foundation Scotland and our backing, other local authorities followed Glasgow’s lead and less than a year after launching our own campaign, all 32 councils signed up.
“While BHF Scotland had campaigned for CPR training in schools for some years, the charity has credited the Evening Times’ involvement for heaping pressure on councils to finally make it happen.”
Henry Ainslie, deputy editor at the Evening Times, added: “The Evening Times has a long history of campaigning for real change, and we are proud to have achieved it again working alongside the British Heart Foundation.
“Caroline and the BHF’s David McColgan worked tirelessly to get the ball rolling with our Glasgow’s Got Heart campaign, and then we threw our support behind the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers drive through Scotland’s Got Heart, keeping the pressure on every council through our reporting.
“All 32 local authorities have committed to action that will undoubtedly save lives, and the Evening Times has once again played its part.”