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Friday 03 February, 2023: The Three Ways to Save a Life campaign, run by St John Ambulance and BBC Radio Manchester, came to an end on 31 January with a final figure of 16,120 people trained across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester in life saving first aid skills. Following the fifth anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing, the two organisations teamed to take these skills across Greater Manchester to local people and organisations, through a mix of public training sessions and on-demand training.

Participants at the events were taught:

  • Delivering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using a defibrillator
  • How to treat severe bleeding and catastrophic haemorrhage
  • How to treat someone who is choking.

The campaign started in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens on 25 May 2022, with more than 200 people receiving training at this initial public session.

Since then, St John volunteers have delivered training at open days, at local St John units, fire stations, public venues, schools, the BBC’s Media City and even in people’s gardens. And as testament to the work of St John Cadets – volunteers aged between 10 and 17 – around one quarter of all the training sessions were delivered by this group of young people.

Significantly, the campaign has attracted high-profile backing from the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, several local MPs, TV celebrities, and a number of other local VIPs.

Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett who died in the attack, championed the BBC Radio Manchester’s campaign and said: “I’m thrilled to say that 16,120 people in Greater Manchester now have the skills to save a life. There’s a good chance in Manchester now, if something happens to you, where you do need someone with those skills, somebody now near you, knows those skills and can save you.”

Dr Lynn Thomas, Medical Director at St John Ambulance, said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to learn these simple lifesaving skills, and to our volunteers and staff for their commitment to giving people the confidence to deal with health emergencies. Born from a tragedy, the legacy of this joint campaign with BBC Radio Manchester can only be positive with thousands more people understanding essential first aid.

“Our local team is committed to continuing to deliver free first aid demonstrations to at least 1,000 people every month and St Johns is exploring ways we can work with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to make communities even safer and more resilient for generations to come.”

Kate Squire, the BBC’s Senior Head of Production for the North West and North East said: “This has been a brilliant campaign that people living in Greater Manchester have really taken to their hearts.

“More than 16,000 of our residents now have the essential skills to save lives, not only in case a tragedy like this ever strikes our city again, but also to help those who are in need on their everyday lives.”

The BBC Radio Manchester campaign has now come to an end, but free training will continue with St John Ambulance across Greater Manchester. Anyone interested in receiving training in the 10 boroughs can contact the local team via email at