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Ilkley’s Got Heart - Time to Save a Life.

A campaign to make Ilkley the first, official, place in the UK to become a ‘Town of Lifesavers’ was launched at La Stazione in Ilkley station on Tuesday 15 October - the first 'Ilkley's Got Heart' demonstration covered CPR, with local Paula Colman from PACO

The harsh reality is that as we all now live to a much riper old age, we are also prone to the health issues that come with older age. Despite all our efforts to stay fit and eat healthy, sometimes the odds are just stacked against you, the human body can be a fragile and often a fickle thing.

As we go about our daily lives we take for granted that the person sat beside you in the office or ahead of you in the queue is in good health, but the reality is one in five of us will see someone collapse who needs emergency first aid to stay alive.*

Unfortunately most of us will not be able to give that life saving intervention, as we just don’t know how… fact!

A frightening statistic is that following a major coronary collapse, it takes just one minute for brain cells to begin to die. Assuming a 999 call is made swiftly and it takes 7-12 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. That could be 10 - 15 minutes from collapse to treatment. What you do in the meantime makes all the difference to the persons’ survival and long term health prospects… you can literally save a life.

There isn’t a more courageous act you can do than to save the life of a stranger, but possibly no worse feeling than standing helplessly aside as someone passes away.

This October the town of Ilkley will change these statistics dramatically and stack the odds against death, with the Ilkley’s Got Heart campaign. It encourages the people who live and work in this historic town to take a simple, FREE on-line course to equip them with the basic, but essential skills to save lives. The ultimate goal is to get 1 in 10 people in Ilkley ‘prepared to save a life’ but for now 1000 is the target.

The ‘Ilkley’s Got Heart’ campaign will run throughout October & November 2019, with the aim to reach 1000 registered Ilkley lifesavers who have completed the FREE online, ‘Prepared to Save a Life’ course, created and supplied by Virtual College.

Anyone, anywhere can actually take the course by simply registering online at If you live or work in Ilkley however you will count towards our target.

Ilkley's Got Heart are holding 5 pop-up, live action demos in prominent locations across Ilkley, throughout October & November. These will feature live demonstrations of the 5 core elements of the course, performed on real life people (with mock injuries and conditions of course). The demonstrations will be supported by regular individuals who have completed the course, able to explain what aid is being administered.

First Aid, leading this and all following demonstrations. The details of all the demos and locations is available at

Paula Colman, owner of PACO First Aid commented “As a First Aid professional, I spend my life educating people how important it is to have these basic life saving skills, both in your work place and out in the community. The Ilkley’s Got Heart campaign makes these life saving skills so much more accessible to everyone. The online course is very easy, there is no pressure and you come away with more confidence, skills and knowledge you can put in to practice should an emergency situation arise. Why wouldn’t you do it? I encourage everyone to register.  It’s about 45 minutes of your life, which in turn could potentially Save A Life. You’ll feel great once you’ve done it, totally empowered and inspired. For some it may be the road to bigger things and you may even want to go on to take one of PACO First Aid’s accredited courses to become a recognised First Aider.”

We want members of the public, business owners and residents to all come along and see how valuable these simple skills are and how easy it is to take the FREE course.

Amanda, an Ilkley local, recently stepped in to give CPR to a man who had collapsed on the street and previously help save her son’s life, when younger, by performing choking intervention. She told us "I first learnt first aid when I was just 10 years old and have refreshed my training throughout my life including taking the Ilkley’s Got Heart course. Knowing what to do and remaining calm is vital in an emergency as I know after dealing with, not one, but two life threatening situations. I would urge everyone to at least take the Ilkley’s Got Heart course if nothing else. Even if you can’t physically give first aid you can direct others, remaining calm and helping to make the difference."


Does it really make a difference? Local postman Mark Smith was saved by the actions of the landlord of The Dalesway in Ilkley, Ian Collins when Mark collapsed minutes after entering the pub. The ambulance that was called didn’t arrive for around 30mins and without Ian’s care and calming influence the outcome could have been very different. Mark commented “I can’t stress how lucky I was, it was fortunate Ian had the first aid skills to keep calm and act with confidence. A year on to the day, my family and I had lunch in The Dalesway, to re-live how lucky I was that day.”

The course is available now at, and everyone is encouraged, not just Ilkley locals to take this course and get both the skills and confidence to “Save a life”.

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