Give a few minutes to help save lives
PEOPLE across South Wales are being urged to back a campaign which could save those who suffer from a hidden life-threatening condition.
Dawn Evans, managing director of Cardiff-based Ajuda Ltd, is asking people to spare a few minutes to sign The Oliver King Foundation’s online petition which is calling for defibrillators to be placed in schools, sports centres and other public buildings, and assist in providing staff with relevant training.
The foundation was established after 12-year-old Liverpool schoolboy Oliver King died in March 2011 of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS). The condition usually affects people between the ages of 12 and 35, and it is believed that up to 19 people die each week as a result of SADS, but it could be higher as it is often misdiagnosed.
The petition is calling on the Government to introduce defibrillators to all public buildings by 2017 and provide staff with the appropriate training, and also to offer anyone aged between 12 and 35 a simple ECG test to diagnose any hidden problems with their heart.
Earlier this year Ajuda – which provides health and safety, first aid, food safety and fire safety training – supplied a defibrillator and training to staff at Ysgol Plasmawr in Cardiff, and Mrs Evans is keen for the lifesaving equipment to be more widely available.
“The Oliver King Foundation is highlighting a condition that is devastating the lives of hundreds of people each week, but which few know about,” she said.
“Oliver was a seemingly fit schoolboy, a keen sportsman who excelled in football, swimming, athletics and many other sports, but his sudden death showed that SADS is a condition that can affect anybody without warning.
“Offering people heart checks would be a positive way of ensuring that such tragedies are less common, and by making sure there are defibrillators and trained staff more widely available, should someone need quick emergency attention there is every possibility that more deaths could be averted.
“By giving a few minutes of their time, people could be helping to save thousands of lives each year and a family from the devastation of losing a loved one.”
Numerous celebrities are already backing the campaign, such as Helen Mirren, Jason Donovan, Cheryl Baker, Mark Womack, and Liverpool FC player Jon Flanagan.
To sign the petition, please click here.
Ajuda wins Investors In People accolade
Ajuda Limited, which has only two part-time employees, has been awarded Investor In People (IIP) accreditation.
Based at Jasmine Enterprise Centre in Ely, Cardiff, Ajuda Limited was only established in 2009 to provide first aid, food hygiene, health and safety, manual handling, trainer training, lifeguard, fire safety, and conflict management courses to businesses.
Owned by managing director Dawn Evans, Ajuda employs Ruth Kingdom as office manager and Sharon Keitch as accounts manager. The company also has a bank of 15 associate trainers who deliver its courses to companies across the UK.
After being assessed by Investors In People Wales earlier this year, the company was given IIP status last month.
In an executive summary, IIP Wales inspectors said: “Ajuda Limited is a lively and dynamic business which is quality led. There is a unique and open business philosophy, which is reflected in the leadership style.
“The reflective approach and drive for high standards sets it aside from some of the perceived competition and as a result its reputation as a provider is demonstrated by the impressive cohort of clients and the positive feedback they provide spontaneously.
“This assessment found a business approach worthy of recognition as an Investor In People and which will stand Ajuda Limited in good stead over its next phase of growth.”
The report added that the business approach is ‘open and engaging’, associate trainers praised Ajuda for its ‘support and attention to preparation and detail’, and the business lives up to its aim of being a ‘friendly and enjoyable place to work in’.
Mrs Evans said she was delighted that the business has been recognised for its commitment to its staff.
“Gaining IIP status is a wonderful accolade for us at Ajuda Limited and the way the company is run,” she said.
“It’s usually bigger businesses that get this award, and we don’t know of any smaller companies in Wales which have achieved IIP status.
“I’m a great believer in making sure that people enjoy the work they do and giving them every opportunity to develop their skills for the benefit of not just Ajuda Limited, but also themselves. Achieving this accreditation demonstrates the success of that approach.”
We’re helping a Cardiff school save lives
A CARDIFF secondary school is doing its bit to ensure staff and pupils get speedy care if they suffer from a cardiac arrest.
Ysgol Plasmawr in Fairwater has invested in a defibrillator to ensure that its more than 1,000 pupils, 100 teachers and support staff can be helped if there is an emergency.
The defibrillator has been supplied by Cardiff-based Ajuda Limited, which provides training in first aid, manual handling, health and safety and food hygiene.
The school’s outdoor education teacher Aled Morgan has been trained by Ajuda in how to use the defibrillator, which can be used for first aid before health professionals can get to the scene of any incident, and has also been taught how to show others how to use the equipment.
Mr Morgan said the defibrillator adds extra peace of mind for staff, parents and pupils.
“With so many people of all ages at Plasmawr it is essentially a small community, and having the defibrillator here means we can ensure that, should the worst happen, we can react quickly and confidently to any incident in which it is required,” she said.
“School secretary Karen Salter, who is the person in charge of first aid at Plasmawr, was very keen to buy the defibrillator to give us the chance to act if we needed a quick response to any incident. She organised the fundraising effort to ensure we could buy it.
“We currently have 10 people who are trained to use the defibrillator, and my plan is to have a person in each department who is able to give lifesaving treatment if it is needed.”
Dawn Evans, managing director of Ajuda, said the school’s decision to invest in the defibrillator is to be applauded.
“People of all ages suffer from heart problems which sometimes can go undetected until there is a problem,” she said. “Research has proved that early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) combined with defibrillation is the key to saving a Life.
“Plasmawr has recognised that and the school’s decision to buy a defibrillator is sensible and could prove to be the difference between saving a life and an unnecessary tragedy.
“It’s also important that those who use the equipment get the right training to ensure that they are able to act quickly to give anyone who suffers from a cardiac arrest the best possible chance of recovery.”
Ajuda Training Cardiff wins Race For Life contract
A CARDIFF first aid and health and safety training company has signed a contract to provide medical support for Race For Life events across Wales and England next year.
Ajuda Ltd, which is based at Jasmine Enterprise Centre in Ely, will provide emergency medical cover for 35 Cancer Research UK Race For Life events in Wales, the Midlands and southern England, which will see thousands of competitors take part to raise money for research into all 200 types of cancer.
Cancer Research UK chose Ajuda after it provided similar cover for a number of events in recent years.
The Race For Life deal is the latest success for the business which was set up in November 2009 by directors Dawn Evans and Martyn Morgan, who amalgamated their companies – Aid Training Wales and MDM Medical – under one banner.
Mother-of-two Dawn – who started her career as a lifeguard and fitness trainer before moving into leisure centre management, in which role she was also responsible for staff training – started her own business to fit in with family commitments.
fter being awarded a Knowledge Exploitation Fund (KEF) Scholarship, which offers business skills training to entrepreneurs, she built up her business and also lectured in first aid at colleges in Barry, Merthyr Tydfil and at Coleg Glan Hafren. Dawn was also in the Territorial Army, where she was a Squadron PTI.
Paramedic Martyn, who was the Resuscitation Training Officer for the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, was providing medical emergency event cover through MDM Medical, including for Race For Life events.
“Martyn and I were colleagues as teenagers and, after we met up again on a PGCE course four years ago, we decided to establish Ajuda to offer the best training and events cover to businesses across the UK,” Dawn said.
“Since then our expansion has exceeded our expectations. The specialists we use to deliver training are the best there is and have helped to push our business forward by giving the highest quality of training and event medical support for a variety of clients across the UK.
“We are delighted that Cancer Research UK has recognised the excellence in the service we offer and are looking forward to working with them again in 2012.”
Kelly Rumble, Race For Life Events Manager, added: “Cancer Research UK started working with Martyn four years ago when he supplied medical cover for our Welsh Race For Life events.
“Since establishing Ajuda together, Martyn and Dawn are now supplying even more events and in 2012 it will be covering approximately 35 across in England and Wales.
“We chose Ajuda for their excellent service, reliability, qualified staff, high standard of delivery of medical cover on the day, and because they are great to work with.”
As well as event cover, Ajuda also provides first aid, food hygiene, health and safety, manual handling, trainer training, lifeguard, fire safety, and conflict management courses to businesses at its Cardiff headquarters.
Ajuda Training Cardiff helping marking students with on-the-job training
A CARDIFF company which provides health and safety training is giving three undergraduates a helping hand into the world of work.
Ajuda Limited – which offers courses in first aid training, manual handling, asbestos awareness and food hygiene to businesses – is working with the students from Cardiff School of Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University, formerly Uwic, as part of their degree course.
Marketing management student Alice Armstrong, 20, from Swindon, is producing Ajuda’s 2012 prospectus, while Warren Cavanagh, 23, from Wrexham, who is also studying marketing management, is helping to launch the Ajuda Cadets programme. Christian Speakman, 19, from Taunton, who is studying management studies and marketing, is working on the company’s Investors in People (IIP) accreditation.
Alice, Warren and Christian are all second-year students and are carrying out a 20-day placement with Ajuda, which is based at Jasmine Enterprise Centre in Ely.
Ajuda director Dawn Evans said the company and the students are working together for mutual advantage.
“When we were approached by the Cardiff School of Management we were delighted to be able to offer Alice, Warren and Christian a chance to see what it’s like in a real-world work environment.” she said.
“The placement is of huge benefit to all involved. The students are able to put the skills they have learned at university to practical use and to see at first-hand what challenges there are in marketing an expanding business.
“As a relatively new company our marketing budget is not huge – so by working with them we are benefiting from having their skills available to us, and they are putting their abilities to the test.”
Lynne Jones, Work Based Learning Officer at Cardiff School of Management, said work experience such as that being undertaken by Alice, Warren and Christian is an excellent way for them to see how their careers might develop after graduation.
“Partnerships with companies such as Ajuda are vitally important for students – they can get a detailed understanding of how businesses go about promoting themselves and gain practical experience,” she said.
“The option has proved popular with businesses as it has provided an ‘extra pair of hands’ to get on with a particular project, such as competitor research, accounts, website development, social networking or marketing. During their time with the employer they have to write a weekly reflective log about their experiences and complete a report for academic submission at the end.
“This is invaluable to them as they look ahead to challenging for jobs in an increasingly competitive market and we can’t thank Dawn enough for giving them this chance.”