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September 5th is the International Day of Charity, a day commemorated by the UN to acknowledge and recognise great works of charity and selflessness all around the world. Charity, volunteerism and philanthropy provide community and inclusive and resilient societies. Charity also plays a decisive role in alleviating poverty and the worst effects of humanitarian disasters. Ultimately, charity is based around the belief that all human life is sacred and deserves respect and dignity.

The day is in commemoration of the death of Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. The objective of the day is to inspire and mobilise people to live up to the example of selflessness and public devotion she showed to the people of India.

TQUK has long had partnerships with great charities that do amazing work throughout the UK. One company we have worked with for a long time is Hand on Heart, a Salford based charity that works tirelessly to raise awareness about Basic Life Support and the use and access of defibrillators in schools.

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We work with Hand on Heart to provide schools with CPR and Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) training with TQUK’s Level 2 Award in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillation (QCF). Since 2010, Hand of Heart has placed over 900 defibrillators in schools across the country whilst they have trained over 21,000 pupils and 6,000 staff.

It is hard to overstate the value of giving the public access to defibrillators and providing high-quality training in how to use them. When a child suffers sudden cardiac arrest (often mistaken for a heart attack), their chances of survival reduce by 7-10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation. In the UK, approximately 270,000 people a year suffer from cardiac arrest. A sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical malfunction of the heart, whereas a heart attack occurs due to a blockage of the coronary arteries. It is a different condition and requires a different response.

It is vitally important for school staff to have access to defibrillators on a continuing basis. Having training in CPR and the knowledge to use a defibrillator can mean the difference in saving a child’s life. Since students spend so much time at school, it is vital that teachers and school staff have the appropriate training to respond to medical emergencies if the situation arises.

TQUK is also a major sponsor of the UK Heart Safe Awards 2017, the fifth iteration of the awards dedicated to recognising organisations and employers that invest in creating Heart Safe environments and the acts of individuals who have saved lives while at work or leisure. A Heart Safe environment is one where life-saving equipment - a defibrillator and training - are provided for staff or customers so that, should a sudden cardiac arrest occur, people are fully prepared to perform resuscitation and life support immediately.

This year’s awards are recognising a record 14 categories and will take place on Friday, November 3, 2017, at the Hilton Hotel in Beetham Tower.

The work Hand on Heart does is responsible for saving many lives every year. It is important to acknowledge the great work they do for all of the UK. To help them raise awareness of cardiac arrest in young people, click here to see how you can help, including by creating Heart Safe environments yourself.

TQUK will continue to work with this amazing organisation and others to help make our country a healthier and safer place.

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See you out there!