TWO employees of the USN Bolton Arena have scooped a national award for their work promoting life-saving techniques.
Nicola Toole, senior Customer Services Manager, and Lesley Hough, Customer Services Manager, won the Innovation category in the British Heart Foundation Heart Hero Awards.
The awards were held at Leeds University and recognised the work of people all over the country and their dedication to saving lives.
The Bolton duo, having had many years of first-aid experience between them, first went on a North West Ambulance Service course linked to the British Heart Foundation’s Heartstart initiative which enabled them to teach life-saving skills. They also attended a NWAS Train the Trainer course to teach people to use the Arena’s two defibrillators.
Almost all the Arena’s staff have now been trained in these life-saving methods but Nicola and Lesley took their interest a step further. They began working in the community, going into schools in their own time, teaching the vital system which saves lives.
They even went into Nicola’s daughter Tilly’s school, Belmont Primary, to teach four and five year-olds, as well as in women’s groups and businesses.
“It was really amazing at the awards,” said Nicola. “We heard these citations for everyone and were very impressed. It was really inspiring. We certainly didn’t expect to win but when we were called out we were really pleased to receive the award.”
Nicola and Lesley are not stopping there, either. They plan to continue getting out and about, spreading the word, teaching people how to use defibrillators and, hopefully, make a difference.
TWO employees of the USN Bolton Arena have been shortlisted for a national award for their work teaching life-saving techniques.
Nicola Toole, senior Customer Services Manager, and Lesley Hough, Customer Services Manager, are finalists in the Innovation category of the British Heart Foundation Heart Hero Awards at Leeds University in July.
They went on a North West Ambulance Service course linked to the British Heart Foundation’s Heartstart initiative a few years ago to learn life-saving techniques. They also went on a NWAS Train the Trainer course to teach people to use the two defibrillators at the Arena. All the Arena’s staff have now been trained in using these vital machines.
As well as organising and running life-saving courses for outside organisations at the Arena, Nicola and Lesley have also gone into the community in their own time teaching in schools and at groups like the Women’s Institute. They even went into Nicola’s daughter Tilly’s school, Belmont Primary, to teach four and five year-olds.
Lesley’s skills were called on in 2013 when a man collapsed outside the Arena on his way to a Bolton Wanderers’ match. He survived and was so grateful for her help he invited her to his 80th birthday party.
As a result, along with a police officer and a nurse, she was awarded the Hand on Heart, Heart Safe Life Saver of the Year Award. Now, Nicola and Lesley have both been shortlisted for this national award and admit they are both “delighted”.
“It’s just so important for everyone to know how to save lives,” explained Nicola. “All ages can learn life-saving techniques – the children at Belmont Primary still remember what we showed them.”