Helston could be the safest Cornish town under 'Healthy Helston' plans
AN INNOVATIVE project which could lead to most shop premises in Helston having at least one staff member trained in resuscitation techniques is being put to the town council tonight.
Called Healthy Helston, the plan is also to provide a defibrillator in a central location in the town for use in emergencies.
It is part of the Helston Business Improvement Partnership (BIP), a group set up by town centre manager Jonathan Birkett to allow businesses and the town council to work together.
BIP is requesting funding from the council's supermarket "windfall" money – cash given to the town following successful retail planning applications by Tesco and Sainsbury's a few years ago – for a number of major projects.
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Healthy Helston is one of them and is seeking just £1,000 to fund its initiative.
It will be acting in partnership with the British Heart Foundation which will part-fund a defibrillator if the town commits to train volunteers in cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques.
The idea came from BIP director Chris Ring whose friend died of a heart attack in a public street several years ago "and no one could do anything to help".
Of the funding being requested tonight, he said: "It is not a huge amount of money for what is a potentially lifesaving scheme."
The chairman of Healthy Helston, Michelle Wootton, said: "Our aim is to get hopefully at least one person in each retail premises trained in CPR."
The idea is to form a "heartstart" scheme with the British Heart Foundation to train business people, shop workers and the community generally in CPR.
The training would be free and take place once a month.
Mr Ring said it was also intended that the project would be very much youth led, possibly involving members of the town's youth café, the Citizenship for Life candidates and, hopefully, Helston Community College.
Mrs Wootton and Mr Ring said that the whole community would benefit, from residents to visitors and local businesses.
Mrs Wootton added that this would be the start of a larger project for Healthy Helston with plans for further projects – including work on exercise and healthy eating – in the pipeline.