Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

More than 3,000 school children and members of the public across Greater Manchester have been taught vital skills around how to recognise and stop life-threatening bleeds.

‘Stop the Bleed Day’ is an annual initiative created in partnership between Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit and charity, citizenAID.

Since the pilot in 2023, schools across the city-region have welcomed trained volunteers to deliver demonstrations to students. The training has been so well received that authorities in the West Midlands have also adapted the format to offer training to their residents too.

After two successful ‘Stop the Bleed’ days in schools, the VRU recently worked with Transport for Greater Manchester, Trafford Council and Greater Manchester Police to roll out the offer to commuters at Altrincham Interchange during Operation Sceptre – the national week of action for police forces tackling knife crime.

The aim was to pilot a public-facing opportunity and highlight how quick and easy life-saving skills can be to learn. Around 120 people were engaged with overall, which also included young people on their way home from school.

Local resident, Liberty Chrismas, 31 said: “I thought I knew a lot of this already but actually, that two-minute demonstration made me realise I wasn’t as informed as I’d thought.

“You never know when you’re going to need these skills – you could come across or be involved in an accident and especially as a new parent, I want to make sure I’m prepared for any situation.”

The initiative teaches people simple techniques such as applying pressure, packing a wound and applying a tourniquet.

Dr. Rachel Jenner, A&E doctor and the VRU’s clinical lead said: “If someone has an accident, is a victim of knife-crime or becomes injured in a mass-casualty incident, the single most preventable cause of death is bleeding, so it’s really important that we support as many people as possible with the knowledge around how to control this.

“The events in schools and the recent session at Altrincham Interchange are a partnership effort between the VRU and other organisations, which is fantastic because collective support in this way can lead to real impact and positive outcomes.

“As a VRU, we’re committed to working in a multi-agency way and put people at the heart of everything we do. We’re looking forward to the prospect of rolling out more public sessions in the future with the support of our partners and members of the public.”

Superintendent Caroline Hemingway, VRU’s policing lead said: “Community engagement is an incredibly important aspect of our partnership approach to tackling knife crime. Having the opportunity to listen to community concerns, provide reassurance, whilst at the same time teaching people life-saving first aid techniques, I hope will go some way in showing how serious we all take this issue.

“The more prevention, education, early intervention, and diversion we can do together, the greater positive impact we can have. We do understand, however, that knife related incidents still happen, and the Stop the Bleed events could help save someone’s life in the moment, or make someone think twice about picking up a knife.”

To date, around 3,000 young people have taken part in the two ‘Stop the Bleed’ days in schools, with 90 per cent of those who submitted a post-training survey saying they were confident they would know what a life-threatening bleed was. Over 70 per cent said they would be confident helping someone with severe bleeding.

Damon Misty, aged 11, took part in the 2024 ‘Stop the Bleed’ day with Rayner Stephens High School in Tameside. He said: “I was in a car accident and people helped me by putting a coat round my head and applying pressure, so I think it’s important for young people to learn so they know how to do it for someone else.”

Heidi Thomas, aged 11, said: “I feel a lot more confident because before this, I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do.”

Nigel Barraclough, Paramedic and Trustee with citizenAID said: “We are delighted at the success of our Stop the Bleed Day project in partnership with Greater Manchester VRU. Severe bleeding can kill in less than 5 minutes – before the emergency services arrive. Our aim is to give everyone the simple knowledge of how to stop a bleed, because we know it will save lives.”

For more information about Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit, please visit

Article posted on: 29/05/2024 09:05am

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