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Restart a Heart 2021

12 November 2021

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) proudly took part in this year’s Restart a Heart Campaign, going virtual for the second year in a row, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Trust were keen not to miss out on an opportunity to train as many people as possible despite the difficulties around operational demand and continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

In association with the Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) and other partner agencies, the Trust hosted online cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training sessions for Restart a Heart Day (RSAH) 2021 on Saturday 16th October, mainly utilising TikTok style videos to reach as many people as possible, of all ages. 

According to RCUK, coronavirus has reduced people’s willingness to perform CPR, and social distancing has limited opportunities for people to learn.

RSAH 2021 aims to help overcome these fears by teaching safe, effective CPR virtually, or face-to-face where possible to give people the confidence and skills required to help save lives.

RSAH falls under our Trust wide Saving Lives Together campaign, more details of which can be found here:

Deanne Hill, SWASFT Patient Engagement Manager, said: “The majority of people, who witness an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, unfortunately feel they don’t have the necessary skills to carry out CPR in an emergency. This often causes significant delays which, in turn, can be the difference between a life saved and a life lost. Our key message this year is that “anyone can do CPR”, for example, we have even heard of young children successfully carrying out CPR on adults whilst they wait for an ambulance to arrive.

“Truly, anyone can do it and it is better to try than not do anything at all. A little confidence in your ability could really make a difference, and that is what we hope to achieve with Restart a Heart.

“We hope our videos and patient stories, available on social media platforms, go some way to communicating these messages.

“Finally, fewer than one in 10 people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest. But we know that calling 999, performing hands-only CPR, and using a defibrillator can make a significant difference to someone’s chance of survival.

“Thank you to all who liked, shared and commented on our videos, the wider our message spreads, the more people we can hope to inspire to act quickly, call 999 and commence life-saving CPR.”

The Trust has been lucky enough to hear some fantastic stories around survival after a cardiac arrest, 80% of which happen in the home! Please visit our social media to hear from this year’s advocates: Steven, Josh, and Kelly.

Social Media Links

Restart a Heart - Jenny Winslade intro - YouTube

Restart a Heart - Rob Horton intro - YouTube

Restart a Heart - How to do CPR on an adult - YouTube

Restart a Heart - Adult to adult CPR - YouTube

Restart a Heart - How to do CPR on a baby - YouTube

Restart a Heart - Teen to adult CPR - YouTube

Restart a Heart - How to do CPR on a child - YouTube

Restart a Heart - Steven Webb - YouTube

Restart a Heart - Josh - YouTube

Restart a Heart – Child to adult CPR - YouTube

Restart a Heart - Adult to adult CPR - YouTube

South Western Ambulance Service on Twitter: "It’s here! ❤️ Today is Restart a Heart Day and we are excited to be sharing with you some excellent training videos, an insight into the importance of CPR and inspiring patient stories! #RestartaHeartDay #SavingLivesTogether #RSAH" / Twitter

The Trust is supporting restart a heart day on Wednesday 16 October 2019 by demonstrating CPR to the public across our patch, please join us in learning this valuable skill! - South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust | Facebook

Why not sign up to take part in Restart a Heart 2022?

Email or message us on social media for more details.

Key messages:

  • A sudden cardiac arrest is an urgent medical emergency when the heart stops beating, abruptly and without warning. If this happens, blood stops pumping round the body, and the brain is starved of oxygen. That causes the person to fall unconscious and stop breathing.
  • Anyone can be affected by cardiac arrest at any time - and cardiac arrests haven’t stopped during COVID-19. In fact, early data shows they have increased - making learning CPR more important than ever.
  • When someone collapses and stops breathing normally, it is important to quickly call 999, perform hands-only CPR and use a defibrillator. This gives that person their best chance of survival.
  • Don’t be afraid to get hands on! Hands-only CPR reduces your risk of catching an infection, and without intervention the person will die.
  • Help the NHS save lives by getting hands on before the paramedics arrive.

Supplementary stats:

  • Survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrest remain stubbornly low in the UK, with fewer than one in ten people surviving.
  • Thousands of lives could be saved every year if CPR was taught more widely.
  • More than 30,000 have a cardiac arrest out of hospital in the UK every year, and every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by up to 10%.
  • When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, performing immediate CPR can help double their chance of survival in some cases.
  • Most episodes (around 80%) of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest occur in the home, highlighting the potential benefit of family members trained in CPR.

 How to do CPR during a time of increased risk of infection:

  1. If someone is collapsed and not breathing normally, do not put your face next to theirs
  2. Call for an ambulance
  3. Use a towel or piece of clothing and lay it over the mouth and nose
  4. Do not do mouth to mouth
  5. Start chest compressions to the tempo of the Bee Gees song Stayin’ Alive.
  6. Use a Public Access Defibrillator if available.


  1. Any group photos were taken before the Coronavirus pandemic or were appropriately socially distanced with necessary precautions.
  2. For interviews, please email


Restart a Heart (RSAH) is an annual initiative led by Resuscitation Council UK in partnership with The British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, St John Ambulance, and Yorkshire Ambulance Service which aims to increase the number of people surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. In 2017 the initiative went global with the formation of World Restart a Heart day.

On and around 16 October each year, an alliance of partners all over the world (including UK Ambulance Services, Medical Schools, and Fire and Rescue Services) come together to increase public awareness of cardiac arrests and increase the number of people trained in lifesaving CPR. They do this by organising and facilitating training events, and also providing opportunities for people to learn CPR digitally in the safety and comfort of their own home. You can view these digital resources at  

In 2019 more than 291,000 people learnt CPR as part of Restart a Heart. This year saw the seventh Restart a Heart and the fourth World Restart a Heart campaign.

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South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: Donate to South Western Ambulance Charity | Give as you Live Donate