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National Recognition For Arena Lifesavers

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.”


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