Ex-military woman sets up Barnsley company to pass on life-saving tips

22 July 2015

An ex-military woman from Barnsley has set up a training company to help disadvantaged young people and the sporting community learn first aid and survival techniques in the outdoors.

Illuminate Training Services was set up 12 months ago by Leigh Humpleby, who had previously served in the army for eight years, touring in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The company specialises in creating orienteering challenges, in which groups of young adults, aged 16-24, have to deal with mock casualties.

The exercises involve the group finding casualties with different injures from fake broken bones and serious wounds to a severed hand. The group then learn the essentials of how to react if they were to come across such a casualty, and what assistance they need to administer.

The company has already worked with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust ‘Get on Track’, which uses sport to create a better future for marginalised young people and ‘The Really NEET Project’, created by Sophie Maxwell, that helps young people who are not in education or employment.

Leigh Humpleby, aged 29, said: “Having served in the army as an Operating Department Practitioner and Combat Medic, I know the importance of reacting quickly to save people’s lives and I want to pass this onto youngsters in the hope that one day they might also be able to save a life.

“I’m a hands-on learner, and I’m not convinced that you can learn that much from looking at a PowerPoint presentation all day, especially something as vital as first-aid. It’s a really fun way to learn, and I get really positive feedback from everyone who takes my courses.”

The courses can be tailor-made to each group and Leigh has a variety of props at her disposal that can be used on the training days, including brain and heart props, a first-aid dummy, a severed hand, training defibrillators, and a car to recreate a car crash casualty.

The courses can be either one or two days long and upon completion, participants are presented with a certificate and can gain accreditation if they sit an examination.

Leigh, who used to volunteer in youth services before joining the army at age 20, said: “The point of the courses is to get youngsters thinking on their feet, get them working together as a group and to present them with unusual casualties that make them think outside the box.

“The last three months have been great and I’ve been getting a lot more business in as people start to hear about the courses that I provide. I love what I do, and it’s really rewarding being able teach someone from a disadvantaged background how to save a life.”

Illuminate Training can also provide courses in first-aid, health and safety and food hygiene, and has aspirations to expand as it offers more training days and takes on more clients.

The company has set up and developed its training service with free specialist business support and office accommodation through the Genesis programme. The programme aims to accelerator the development and growth of Barnsley businesses by providing 12 months of business support.

The SmartStart and Genesis programmes are part of a wider strategy to help grow the local economy, as set out in Barnsley Council’s Jobs and Business Plan 2014-2017.

Leigh said: “The team at Genesis have helped with anything and everything that I have thrown at them and the support I’ve received has been outstanding, especially from my business coach Gail Cherry. The company wouldn’t be where it is today without it.”

BBIC business development manager Sarah Valentine-Bull said: “Having served in the army for eight years, Leigh knows how to save a life and it’s great that she’s set up her company right here in Barnsley to pass on this knowledge to young people.”

Notes to editor

Attached photograph shows Leigh Humpleby of Illuminate Training.

For more information about Illuminate Training, please call Leigh Humpleby on 07503 188657, e-mail leigh@illuminatetrainingservices.co.uk

For further information about SmartStart and Genesis contact Sarah Valentine-Bull at BBIC on 01226 249590 or svalentine@bbic.co.uk or visit www.barnsleystartup.co.uk

Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) is on Innovation Way, Wilthorpe, Barnsley, S75 1JL, tel: 01226 249590.

Eligible business start-ups, with potential to grow and create jobs, can access a year of intensive free business support at BBIC, through its Genesis programme. The business incubation scheme offers fledgling businesses free office accommodation for a year plus on-going business, finance and technical support.

Additional media contact: Joshua Nutt or Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or at kate@capitalbmedia.co.uk

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more details about our PR services, please visit www.capitalbmedia.co.uk

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