Cumbernauld teens teach First Minister how to save lives

Fraser and Eilidh Simpson with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Fraser and Eilidh Simpson with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Two Cumbernauld teenagers have been teaching First Minister Nicola Sturgeon how to perform CPR.

Eilidh Simpson (14) and her brother Fraser (16), started volunteering with St John Scotland last year.

The Greenfaulds High pupils share the ambition to become doctors, and decided to sign up as CPR trainers to gain experience and an insight into working in healthcare.

Although it had been a few years since they first learned how to perform CPR, after a quick refresher from St John Scotland trainers, the pair soon felt confident enough to deliver the training themselves.

Since then, they’ve helped out at several training sessions in and around the Glasgow area, and between them helped dozens of people learn CPR.

At their most recent training event, at the Gorbals Fair, they were able to teach CPR to some very special guests.

“The events are really good fun, you never quite know who’s going to walk through the door next,” said Eilidh – just as the First Minister popped by to learn CPR.

The siblings also got to meet comedian and broadcaster Des Clarke, Lord Provost of Glasgow Eva Bolander, and Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss.

As well as the chance to meet celebrities, Fraser said that through volunteering, he’s learned skills that will stand him in good stead in his chosen career.

He said: “I was never the most confident of people and was often very shy, and realised that if I was to become a doctor, I would have to get rid of that!

“Being a volunteer CPR trainer has encouraged me to speak out more, if I need to ask questions or need any help. I now feel more comfortable talking to people.”

Eilidh says it’s been useful practise for learning how to work with a variety of people, something she’ll face when she starts her studies in medicine.

She said: “I have trained people of all ages, from young children and teenagers, to older people.

“Communication is key when training people, you need to be able to break down important points and explain things clearly.”

The pair, who are both active in organising Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, are encouraging other people, young or old, to get involved as CPR trainers with St John Scotland.

Fraser said: “Being trained in CPR is so valuable. If you ever need to use it, you’ll be able to keep someone alive long enough for proper medical attention to arrive, and before you know it, you’ve helped saved someone’s life.”

If you are interested in becoming a CPR trainer for St John Scotland email your details to info@stjohnscotland.org.uk.