A GRANDAD took part in the world’s biggest half marathon to help children get free first aid training.
Grandfather of seven, Ian Parke, 61, from Malpas, ran a gruelling 13 miles in the Great North Run on Sunday to raise funds for the Injury Minimization Programme for Schools (IMPS).
The charity, which is supported by St John Ambulance in Cheshire, delivers free training in essential first aid and accident prevention to more than 3,000 local year six schoolchildren each year.
Ian said: “I really enjoyed it! The weather was great and the camaraderie was fantastic. The supporters were all shouting from the sidelines creating a really good atmosphere.”
Ian’s sponsorship money is still rolling in but he has already raised over £500 for IMPS.
He said: “I have been teaching first aid to adults and younger people for more than 30 years and I passionately believe everyone who needs it should receive first aid from those around them, and that no one should suffer for the lack of trained first aiders.”
IMPS has been running in Chester, Ellesmere Port, Frodsham, Helsby and Northwich for the past six years.
Ian added: “During this time, 15,000 children have received free practical training in first aid and accident prevention which is of a very high standard.
“In Cheshire alone, I have heard of about four IMPS students using their first aid skills to save lives in emergency situations.”
Although the training is free for the children, it costs the charity £20 per child and the charity says a further £7,000 is needed to enable it to continue in 2009.
IMPS receives no Government funding to run the programme and is dependent upon donations to continue its essential work.
You can support Ian by sending a cheque made payable to St John Ambulance to Helen Lee, IMPS Co-ordinator at St John Ambulance, Cheshire, Valley Drive, Countess of Chester Health Park, Liverpool Road, Chester, CH2 1UA.