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Three local teenagers have been presented with Special Achievement Certificates from the British Heart Foundation and Herefordshire Heartstart for saving their 14 year old friend who was in cardiac arrest. The teenagers are now fronting a British Heart Foundation Nation of Lifesavers Campaign.

The Nation of Lifesavers of Campaign is a British Heart Foundation Campaign to involve more Schools in teaching emergency life support skills.

16 year old Ben Stevens and 16 year old Sam Seaborn were presented with their Special Achievement Certificates at John Masefield High School in Ledbury back in July. On the 13th November 16 year old Rhodri Whittaker was presented with his Certificates at St Mary’s R.C. High School in Lugwardine, at a GCSE presentation evening.

On the first day of the Easter holidays in April 2014, four teenage boys from Much Marcle were out playing football near to their home. After the game of football one of the boys started to ride his bike home and appeared to fall off the bike onto the field.

His friends ran across to see if he was ok, but he didn’t respond. They initially thought he’d hurt his head, so put him into the recovery position. They then realised his colour had changed, he wasn’t breathing and he was in cardiac arrest; he needed urgent assistance to keep him alive.

Thankfully for this 14 year old boy, his 16 year old friend Ben Stevens had learnt Heartstart Emergency Life Support Skills in School so immediately started CPR. He sent the other two boys 16 year old Sam Seaborn and 16 year old Rhodri Whittaker to call for the ambulance and to get help.

The two boys came back to wait with Ben, and brave Ben kept CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) going for 15 minutes whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

“It must have been a terrifying experience for all the boys, but they were extremely courageous and put their lifesaving skills into action to help save their friend.”

Ben and Sam both attended John Masefield High School in Ledbury and Rhodri Whittaker attended St Mary’s R.C. High School in Lugwardine. Both schools are Heartstart schools that deliver Heartstart how to save a life training to pupils.

Loraine Coleman from Herefordshire Heartstart was so impressed that these 3 teenage boys had saved their friend’s life, she contacted the Schools to ask for permission to recommend them all for Awards. Loraine recommended that all 3 boys receive a Special Achievement Award Certificate from the British Heart Foundation.

As we deliver the training to the Schools staff to enable them to deliver the skills to their pupils, Loraine also recommended to the Board of Trustees of Herefordshire Heartstart that they also receive a Special Achievement Award Certificate from Herefordshire Heartstart.

Loraine says “Well done to all three boys for keeping a level head, to Ben for performing effective CPR, for Sam and Rhodri for calling the ambulance, running to get help and for going back to help Ben.”

“It must have been a very stressful experience for them all, but they did absolutely the right thing and by doing so they saved their friend’s life.   They should be very proud of what they have done and I’m sure that their friend is very grateful that they were there to help him.”

“On behalf of Herefordshire Heartstart and the British Heart Foundation, we would like to congratulate them all for being so brave and taking the right action in this life threatening emergency.”

“It gives valuable evidence of how important learning these vital lifesaving skills is in Schools and we are grateful to both Schools for continuing to train their pupils. The majority of Schools in Herefordshire are now delivering Heartstart skills.”

If you can help by making a donation to Herefordshire Heartstart to help support ongoing Heartstart training, both in the community and for schools, or can help by organising a fundraising event, please contact Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator and Schools Project Manager on 0845 60 60 654 or email or write to Mrs Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/Project Manager, Herefordshire Heartstart, PO Box 305, HEREFORD HR1 9JD.


Notes to Editor:

Photo shows 16 year old Ben Stevens and 16 year old Sam Seaborn being presented with their certificates by Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/Project Manager and Tony Powell Trustee for Herefordshire Heartstart.

Rhodri has been asked for a photo, but no photo has been made available

If you need further details of this story please contact:

Loraine Coleman at Herefordshire Heartstart on 0845 60 60 654 or Email:-

We don’t have the contact details of the 14 year old who suffered the cardiac arrest.

You may be interested to learn that the teenagers are fronting the new British Heart Foundation campaign – Nation of Lifesavers. See their website for details.

This campaign features the story and their photo.

For details of the Nation of Lifesavers campaign and for contacting the teenagers, please contact Emma Wright, Media Officer, British Heart Foundation on 0207 554 0200.

School Contacts (please note the three teenagers have now left school):-

Linda Davies at John Masefield High School, Ledbury on 01531 631 012 or

Paul Shannon at St Mary’s R.C. High School, Lugwardine on 01432 856416

Additional Information:-

Herefordshire Heartstart is a local voluntary organisation who provides free two hours Heartstart courses in how to save a life in the community. We also provide free full day courses and requalification training to Schools throughout Herefordshire.

“Until the end of last year the Schools Heartstart Project in Herefordshire was funded by the British Heart Foundation. However this was a time limited grant specifically to target schools in Herefordshire to join the scheme and follow this up with the necessary training.   Every School in Herefordshire has been targeted, so that element of the project has now been completed, with a very high take up of schools now delivering Heartstart in Herefordshire.

We still remain committed to providing support and training to Schools, but now rely on fundraising events and donations for us to continue this work beyond 2014.

All donations to support the Schools Heartstart Project goes towards ongoing training which means of thousands of schoolchildren in Herefordshire, will continue to benefit from this vital training and could potentially go on to save a life.

Every penny raised means that more schools staff can be trained and existing staff can be re-trained each year.”

Herefordshire Heartstart provides training and ongoing support to school staff from schools all over Herefordshire. The Schools who have signed up to the British Heart Foundation Schools Heartstart Scheme can send staff on a free instructor training day organised and funded by Herefordshire Heartstart. Schools Project Manager and Schools Training Supervisor Loraine Coleman then delivers the training with her colleague Mary Prosser.

The training is an intensive days training, with lots of hand-on practical sessions. Once all staff have been assessed, they are then signed off as an instructor which enables them to go back into the classroom to deliver the Heartstart course, which teaches basic emergency first aid skills to pupils.

To ensure that the standards in delivery of Heartstart remain high, schools staff are invited back for requalification/refresher training every 18 months.

“The whole ethos of Heartstart is that the training is made available without charge, so we continue to offer the training to schools free of charge.”



Loraine Coleman

Co-ordinator/Project Manager

Herefordshire Heartstart

Email: or

Tel: 0845 60 60 654

24/11/14   16.45pm