Community members from Emmaus Leeds have completed an emergency first aid course to gain vital life-saving skills.

The Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work training was delivered on the 12 February by Tom Robinson from TNR Coaching at the Emmaus Leeds community building. The course was attended by six companions – formerly homeless people who live and work at Emmaus Leeds – as well as six Emmaus Leeds staff members.

Richard, one of the trainees and a companion at Emmaus Leeds, said: “The training was a very good experience and I gained a lot from it. First aid is something that everyone should have knowledge of because you never know when you may be called upon to help someone in need.”

The training course covered CPR, bandaging of hands, arms and head for stress injuries and wounds as well as the identification and first aid procedures for someone who has had a heart attack, stroke or in shock. Trainees also learned what to do if someone goes into anaphylactic shock and how to use a defibrillator.

Joanne Stafford, Projects and Events Leader at Emmaus Leeds, said: “It was a great course and everyone enjoyed themselves and had fun learning. It’s sad to think about, but we do work with a large number of people who not only come from chaotic backgrounds, many are also at an age most susceptible to health issues such as heart attacks and strokes.

“Since I’ve worked at Emmaus, I’ve seen people experience heart attacks, and if it wasn’t for the quick action made by one of our drivers, at least one of them may not have survived. When I lead groups of companions on fundraising walks, particularly if we are up a mountain, I want to be prepared to administer first aid confidently, even though I hope I never have to.”

Emmaus Leeds supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it. The charity has its main community building and social enterprise on St Mary’s Street, a stall at Kirkgate Market and a charity shop in Halton.

To find out more about the work of Emmaus Leeds head to For more information, to donate an item or get involved as a volunteer call 0113 248 4288 or visit Emmaus Leeds at St Mary’s Street, Leeds, LS9 7DP.