I WAS delighted to see so many members of the public attend my CPR event last week. In fact, so many turned up eager to learn such a valuable skill that there was a rush to find extra CPR mannequins!

My involvement with the British Heart Foundation is deeply personal. When I was 12 I was with my father when he suffered a cardiac arrest and sadly passed away. This is why, since my election in 2010, I have worked closely with the BHF to promote its ambition of creating a nation of lifesavers, where everybody has the skills and confidence to save a life.

The training itself was exhausting and it is remarkable how much strength is needed to perform CPR. It is apparently not uncommon to break a patient’s ribs while performing it. It was also moving to hear that some members of the public also had personal experiences of the importance of CPR, including one gentleman who had lost his wife after she had a cardiac arrest.

It cannot be emphasised enough how important it is. The BHF estimates that 10,000 people die every year as bystanders are unable to deliver CPR. Every minute without CPR or defibrillation can reduce a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10%. It is understandable that some people are concerned they might make things worse – but the very worst thing you can do is nothing. I hope events like the CPR training will give people not only the skills to save a life, but also the confidence to use them when needed.

I have also worked with BHF to try to get CPR training added to the national curriculum so young people have these skills from an early age. This would be an important change, as cardiac survival rates are proven to be higher in countries where CPR is taught in schools. In 2015 I was successful in securing a guarantee from the Department for Education that they will write to all secondary schools to support the British Heart Foundation’s “Call, Push, Rescue” emergency life-saving skills campaign. I have also recently had further positive discussions with the Schools Minister Nick Gibb about getting CPR into the curriculum.

Next week, Barclays Bank and I are teaming up to host a digital safety and scam awareness event at my office. Increasingly our lives are being organised online. Utility bills, emails and most importantly; banking. As more and more of us do everything online, cyber-crime is becoming more common and sophisticated. However, people have been slow to understand the threats out there. Only 17% of people in the UK can correctly identify basic digital threats, and nearly a fifth of those who have been victims of fraud take no action to improve their digital security.

The event is to help people learn about their digital safety, understand what scams might be targeting them, and how they can keep themselves safe from scams and fraud. It’s not just about having a long and complex password, there is much more to keeping safe online than most of us think so please do come along or pass on the details to someone you think may benefit. The event is being held at my community office at the Orbital Shopping Park on Thursday, November 2, from 6pm-7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.