‘Healthy Heart’ event at Metrocentre Gateshead

Come and visit us to find out about having a healthy heart!

Looking after your heart is the topic of a joint event with North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), Metrocentre and the British Heart Foundation this weekend in the centre.

The aim is to raise awareness of CPR if someone has suffered a cardiac arrest. The Healthy Heart event will be held over three days beginning Friday July 6th at 10am until 5pm on Sunday July 8th.

Metrocentre is one of the largest sites for first responder schemes that react on behalf of North East Ambulance Service should an emergency occur in the centre, until an ambulance arrives.

Shoppers will be able participate in CPR and receive advice about looking after their heart and learn about the British Heart Foundation's Hard and Fast campaign, which features ex-professional footballer Vinnie Jones.

Adele Young, Community Resuscitation Officer for NEAS said: "The importance of the right care, at the right place at the right time for the patients is fundamental to the work of NEAS. The first few minutes after someone suffers a cardiac arrest are vital; if someone can perform CPR this will increase the chances of survival for the patient and early defibrillation increases their chances even further.  

"One of the aims of our event is to take away the fear of performing CPR. We are very passionate about passing these skills and knowledge onto the general public. This event allows the three organisations to raise the importance of having a healthy heart and lifestyle".

Kevin Fitzpatrick, BHF area development manager for the North East, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with NEAS at Metrocentre to educate as many people as possible about CPR and the role of defibrillators in the community. Also the opportunity to learn compression only CPR at our Hard and Fast sessions will provide training for all levels of interest. A recent UKwide poll by the BHF found more than half (53%) of people in the North East were put off helping because of a lack of knowledge about CPR.  Hands-only CPR should give lots of people in the North East the confidence and know-how to help save someone in cardiac arrest, the ultimate medical emergency."

Gavin Prior, Operations Manager at Metrocentre said "One of the most important criteria of managing a shopping centre is to look after the well-being of the shoppers and staff and ensure their comfort and safety. In Metrocentre, 56 employees have recently completed their AED training in May and a further 10 employees are due to complete this course run by NEAS this month. It is important for us as a centre to be prepared for every eventuality, and working with NEAS to train all our staff to use the in house defibrillators and how to perform CPR, is another step to ensure we are prepared for all situations. The centres defibrillators have been used on numerous occasions to help shoppers recover from a cardiac arrest."


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Notes to editors

  • We would also like to highlight the work of first responders within Metrocentre and the community:
    • Community responders are volunteers who respond in an emergency situation and can be first on scene whilst an ambulance is travelling. They are a vital link in the chain of survival.
    • Metrocentre is a 'static response site' and certain employees are trained by NEAS as part of their role to respond to emergencies whilst an ambulance is travelling to ensure the patient receives the right care at the right place at the right time.
    • Community responders are volunteers who respond on behalf of NEAS in an emergency situation whilst an ambulance is travelling. Volunteers do this role within their local community and in their own time


  • In April 2011, Bus Station Manager Ivan Corbett saved the life of a baby after being called over by a driver in the Transport Interchange. Ivan remembered his first aid training after going on a three day course, and was on the brink of starting resuscitation when he managed to open the baby's airways. She was then taken to Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she was diagnosed with a suspected seizure.

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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