HUNDREDS of Newport students took part in a mass one-day CPR training session after the school received a heart defibrillator from an Argus-led campaign.

Welsh Hearts, the main charity of Jack’s Appeal, held the training day at Lliswerry High School on Thursday, April 23.

Volunteer medics, led by Dr Gareth Roberts, successfully trained up to 800 pupils, in what is believed to be one of the largest such training days in Wales.

Doctors, nurses, paramedics and community first responders from all over Wales have been providing free CPR and defibrillator training as part of the Saving Lives in Wales campaign with Welsh Hearts.

In just over a year, the scheme has taught more than 6,000 people across Wales and has carried out almost 130 training sessions in schools, rugby clubs and local communities.

Alongside the training, Welsh Hearts are providing public access defibrillators, and have so far delivered 167 units to schools, rugby clubs and other communities across Wales.

The training day comes a few months after Lliswerry High became the latest school to be installed with a defibrillator through funds raised by Jack’s Appeal.

The campaign to get the device into every secondary school in Gwent and the Rhymney Valley in memory of Oakdale teenager Jack Thomas, who died suddenly three years ago, has raised more than £32,500 in just over a year.

Alyson Mills, head teacher at Lliswerry High School, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for our pupils to be trained and gain skills for life.

“We are very grateful to Welsh Hearts and indeed Jack’s Appeal for the defibrillator equipment that is held in our school and training to ensure we and the community are protected should the need arise.”

Sharon Owen, director of Welsh Hearts, said: “Our training focuses on the science behind life support and teaches a simplistic approach to managing a medical emergency. The principles are simple and can be taught concisely and effectively in about an hour.

“We believe that this provides a thorough understanding of basic life support. By passing on our experience and skills with this training we will provide the students with the confidence to potentially save someone’s life.”