Couple’s TJ creation helping children learn first aid basics

Free first aid sessions for kids in south east Northumberland and Morpeth are proving popular.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 10:56 am
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 12:53 pm
A session was recently delivered with the AFC Newbiggin U9s football team.

Run by husband and wife Derrick and Stacy Tait, they use a cartoon character that they devised – called TJ – to help guide the children through the hour-long course, using language all children can understand.

After starting in April last year, they have now trained more than 1,200 youngsters at schools, nurseries and clubs in various venues across the North East. 

Mr and Mrs Tait's children, pictured, help out when they are present at a session.

Most are in Northumberland, but they have gone further afield as word has spread, even as far as Bishop Auckland in County Durham.

It started off as a way to help teach their children – Jack, seven, Lilly-Grace, six, Charlie, five, and Sophie, three – the basics of first aid and refresh the knowledge of Mrs Tait, previously a student nurse.

They suggested to staff at Josephine Butler Primary Campus in Ashington, where their children go to, that it would be useful for other children at the school to benefit from a session and this led to going into other schools in the area.

The TJ’s Junior First Aid for Kids course became official and the couple started getting requests from after-school and sports clubs.

Mr Tait is a clinical development nurse practitioner and the sessions are separate to providing services for a fee as Derrick Tait North East Health and Social Care Services that his wife works for as well.

He said: “The course is a mix of theory and hands-on and although it is based on what you would expect for adult first aid courses, we make it simple for children to follow.

“We cover assessing for danger, checking for a response, how to call the emergency services, airway checks, breathing checks, compression-only CPR, defibrillators and how they are used and work, bandaging and dealing with epilepsy and burns, among other topics.

“Our children come along when they are not in school or nursery and they help us during the session.

“We were finalists for the UK Heart Safe Awards 2018 and our efforts have been featured on the BBC.

“In addition, we have recently set-up the Northumbria Medical Emergency Delivery Service (NMEDS), where every Monday and Friday evening, we assist local care homes with out-of-hours emergency supplies, such as urgent medication and equipment, all for free. 

“We take the NMEDS bike to the free first aid sessions for the children to sit on.”

For more information about the course, and to book a session, email [email protected]