Chris Leleux is a life-saver and is making it his business to pass on these essential skills to others.
He decided to become a self-employed first aid instructor while he was teaching. He taught geography for ten years but his interest in outdoor pursuits, which led to qualifications for first aid, caused him to follow an alternative career path.
“I thought I would do the outdoor side with a bit of first aid thrown in. But I really enjoyed the first aid and now I mainly train in first aid and do a little bit of outdoor work,” says Chris.
He set up CLX Activities two years ago when it became a legal requirement for child care providers for the under-fives to have first aid certificates.
“That really kick-started it,” says Chris. “The business was building up but it blossomed at that point.”
Chris runs courses using his specialist mannequins in schools around the Bradford district.
He says learning first aid is an essential skill for everyone. His courses equip students to deal with an emergency situation should the need arise.
“I train them to be able to do something for family, friends or strangers in the street, rather than panic; to grab hold of the situation and deal with it calmly,” he says.
Chris loves the interaction with students and being able to boost their confidence to deal with potential problems.
He also tries to make his courses practical, fun and relaxed, and has received positive feedback.
“Some think it is something they have to sit through, but it should be practical, good fun and relaxed,” says Chris. “We are constantly getting feedback that people are enjoying the training.”
He says the courses are geared to boost people’s confidence in what they are capable of doing. He wants to see more people learning first aid so they are prepared to put into use their life-saving skills.
“You expect people will come along and be able to help. You don’t want people to walk by and think ‘it’s nothing to do with me’,” he says.
He hopes to roll out his courses into sixth forms and aims to pass on his life-saving skills to as many people as he can.
But Chris hasn’t turned his back on the outdoors. He loves canoeing, climbing and mountaineering, and often travelled to Yorkshire from his native Northamptonshire to explore the county’s countryside.
Studying a post-graduate degree in geography and education – he also has an economics degree – brought him to Leeds, and in 1997 he settled in Bingley where he teaches environmental and team-building initiatives once a week at Priestthorpe Primary.
Chris found teaching rewarding but says being self-employed has given him the freedom to get involved in more activities with his family.
“Teaching can be rewarding but I found I needed a change, and the change I have taken has improved my quality of life,” he says.
He says first aid knowledge helps for anyone wanting to become a first aid instructor, along with being able to get on with people and having he confidence to stand up in front of people to train them.
For more information about becoming a first aid instructor, go to the Immediate Temporary Care website at itcfirstaid.org.uk.