OUR campaign to get heart defibrillators into every secondary school in Gwent is well under way, but how do we even use them?

Welsh Hearts, a one-year-old charity that is going from strength to strength, has arranged for a training day to be held in Newport next month to teach people how to use the life-saving machine.

It comes after the Argus recently teamed up with the parents of Jack Thomas, the 15-year-old Oakdale tae kwon do star who died suddenly two years ago, to launch Jack’s Appeal.

His parents, Grant and June Thomas, want every secondary school in the area to be provided with a heart defibrillator in his memory. The campaign has the backing of the charity Welsh Hearts.

And now, the charity, Welsh Hearts, in partnership with the Welsh Ambulance Service, intends to hold a free two-hour session once a month in Gwent, with the first having been arranged at the Hilton Hotel in Langstone for Monday, March 3.

Training will be given in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, more commonly known as CPR, which is a first aid technique using a combination of rescue breaths and chest compressions. There will also be training given on how to use a defibrillator – a life-saving machine used to shock a person’s heart back into its normal rhythm after a cardiac arrest.

Sharon Owen, the charity’s director, said: “It’s great that the Hilton have agreed for us to do this.”

“Everybody is realising that they need a defibrillator in their school and that you need to be trained in using it. You can’t kill people with the machine, but you can save a life. It’s surprisingly simple and it would be great if the people of Newport and Gwent would get on board.”

The Hilton are providing rooms for the session free of charge.

The session takes place between 7pm and 9pm and children over 10 are welcomed to attend with their parents.

To book a placeor find out where further classes are held, contact Welsh Hearts on 02920 786521.

l Anyone who wishes to make a donation to Jack’s Appeal or donate the proceeds of a fundraising event, can send cheques made payable to Welsh Hearts charity, Temple Court, 13a Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9HA or to: Newsdesk, South Wales Argus, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP20 3QN. Please write ‘Jack Thomas defibs appeal’ on the back of the envelope.