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  • Abi Davison

Developing creative solutions to promote the importance of paediatric first aid

Ever since we launched the 1mLives campaign here at COUCH Health, I’ve been looking for opportunities to improve people’s lives in ways that I could really make an impact and are also personal to me. Which is why I signed up to mentor 180 creative advertising and marketing students at Manchester’s 2020 Two+Two event.

What’s Two+Two?

You’ve probably not heard of Two+Two as it’s only in its third year, so let me quickly bring you up to speed. Two+Two is a one-day event bringing teams of creative and marketing students from Northern Universities together to work on a brief just like they would in the world of work. Students and agency mentors (that’s me) work side by side for the day to come up with a big idea to answer a live charity brief. At the end of the day, a panel of judges choose a winning team. Placements are offered at some of Manchester’s top creative agencies and the winning idea is brought to fruition. Two+Two seeks to help effect social change, just as our 1mLives campaign does, and this year’s challenge was to raise awareness of the importance of paediatric first aid training on behalf of the charity Millie’s Trust.

Raising awareness of the importance of paediatric first aid training

First off, here are some stats to set the scene. Each year 5,804 children under four years old are injured in road accidents; 500,000 children under four years old go to casualty after accidents in the home; 125,000 children under four years old are killed or injured in garden accidents; and 140,000 people die each year in situations where first aid could have helped save their lives, which is as many as die from cancer.

Despite these startling stats, 41% of people admit that it would take something as severe as the death of a loved one to make them learn first aid, and as many as 7/10 mums and dads in the UK lack first aid skills that would allow them to help their child in a medical emergency. And Millie’s Trust wants to do something about it.

The work of Millie’s Trust

Millie’s Trust was founded by Joanne and Dan Thompson when their daughter Millie passed away due to a choking incident at nursery in 2012. She was just nine months old and had only attended the nursery for three days. The Millie’s Trust works to help carers for children learn paediatric first aid by making it more widely available and at a reasonable price, in the hope that many more young lives could be saved every year. They offer full qualification courses for child carers and family awareness courses for parents, grandparents or anyone who wants to attend.

The brief set for the students at the Two+Two event was, in short, to get people to engage with the subject of paediatric first aid, and in turn, take a course that Millie’s Trust offers. What the judges were looking for is a big idea - one that’s simple, insightful, powerful and will prompt a change in human behaviour. And myself, and fellow COUCHie Annabel, were by the students’ sides to guide and mentor them as they developed their ideas, ready to pitch to the judges and Millie’s Trust.

"I had a brilliant time at the Two+Two event helping students to answer a brief for the amazing Millie's Trust charity,” says Annabel. “It was an emotional and thought-provoking day and I was thoroughly impressed with the calibre of the ideas and campaigns the students produced."

My thoughts echo Annabel’s. It was a pleasure to help students come up with ways to creatively solve a problem that’s vital to saving lives. I hope that the small part I played in their day improved the students’ lives in some way, too. I got emotional, I got excited, I was proud and I felt privileged - all in the space of 8 hours. And by the end of the day, I was delighted for my team to win second place and have their incredible idea recognised by the judges.

Creativity for good

There are so many ways that each and every one of us can improve the lives of others. It can be as simple as just listening or talking, or it can be through sharing our passion and skills to do good. And that’s what Two+Two and COUCH Health’s 1mLives campaign is all about - creating change to improve the lives of others in any way we can.

While the Two+Two event is over for another year, I’ll be keeping my eye out for other opportunities to put my passion and skills to use to help others.

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