S Club holding British Heart Foundation cushions

S Club have joined forces with the British Heart Foundation (Image: Frederick Iyeh/BHF)

Bubblegum pop legends S Club are urging fans to reach for their phones and learn CPR in memory of late bandmate Paul Cattermole.

The star died aged 46 of an underlying heart condition last April, shortly after the group announced a reunion tour.

Original S Club 7 members Rachel Stevens, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O’Meara, Jon Lee, and Tina Barrett later rebranded as S Club and partnered with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to raise awareness of cardiac issues.

They celebrated their new role as official charity ambassadors this week by joining a school CPR training session.

Bradley, 42, said of losing Paul: “It’s been extremely difficult for us all but we’ve had each other. We did the Good Times tour in October, in honour of our brother, and it was a beautiful celebration of his life.”

READ MORE: Jamie Dornan ‘lucky to be alive’ after suffering ‘heart attack symptoms’ on trip

Bradley practising CPR with a pupil during the session

Bradley practising CPR with a pupil during the session (Image: Frederick Iyeh/BHF)

Rachel, 45, added: “It’s incredible that we can do something like this now, turn it into a positive and help raise awareness. That feels really special.”

The singers got stuck in during a Year 12 health and social care class at Clapton Girls’ Academy. The school in Hackney, east London, was among the first to use the BHF’s online training tool, Classroom RevivR.

After scanning a QR code with their phones, the stars and 18 pupils were paired up to test their resuscitation skills.

Following simple steps, they practised CPR on cushions to the beat of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. The online tool also explained how to use a defibrillator and work as a team during an emergency.

Jo said: “I found it really easy and completely inspiring. All the girls here today were amazing. We didn’t realise how quick and easy it was going to be. To take 15 minutes out of your life can save somebody else’s, so it’s definitely worth doing.”

Reporter Hanna doing CPR with S Club

Reporter Hanna got stuck in with the pop stars (Image: Frederick Iyeh/BHF)

The group had never learnt CPR before – and they are not alone. New research released by the BHF shows 43 percent of UK adults – up to 23 million – are clueless.

Nine in 10 believed learning CPR was important, but only two in five could correctly identify the first steps.

Younger people aged 16-26 were most likely to have been trained – 67 percent had knowledge of CPR, compared with just 51 percent of Baby Boomers aged 59-77.

Tina, 47, admitted she would previously have been nervous to perform CPR “in case you made the situation worse”.

But by the end of the session, both the pupils and their guests felt more confident about stepping in.

Some of the teens had already done so. Najimah Almukhaini, Maia Sacker, and Nilsu Mehmet-Ali, all 16, first completed the training last October.

A week later, they were waved over by a man whose friend had collapsed in a park near the school.

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Najimah said: “I checked to see if he was responding. He wasn’t breathing so I started doing CPR. A bystander called 999.

“Me and another lady were switching between us [doing CPR] and Nilsu was trying to keep the other guy calm.”

Maia added: “It all happened so fast, I still think about it. I never thought I would have to use it, then a week later we had to perform it.”

After a few minutes, the man started breathing again and the teens monitored him until an ambulance arrived.

About 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur every year and less than one in 10 victims survive.

S Club are urging everyone to learn CPR during February – the BHF’s Heart Month. And you can even perform compressions to the 117bpm tune of one of their hits.

Bradley said: “Our fans should know our music pretty well, so Don’t Stop Movin’ is a song you can do CPR to.”

Tina added that hidden heart conditions can strike at any age. She said: “Paul was just no age. A lot of people are shocked that you can be quite young and still have that underlying condition.”

Tina and a pupil doing CPR on a cushion

The group learnt CPR using their phones and cushions (Image: Frederick Iyeh/BHF)

‘Learning this life-saving skill took only 15 minutes’

It can be daunting trying anything for the first time. And being surrounded by my childhood idols didn’t help my nerves as I took part in the Classroom RevivR course supported by Royal Mail. 

But I needn’t have worried. We were all in the same boat and I couldn’t believe how quick and easy was. After only 15 minutes of concentrating, S Club and I were armed with the skills to save a life. 

Classroom RevivR is an amazing resource available for free use in schools to teach pupils aged 11-16 how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator.

But anyone who wants to learn these skills can do so with the online version: RevivR. Lizzie Moscardini, BHF programme manager for community resuscitation, said: “We’re keen for as many people as possible to get involved.

“Anyone can take part with RevivR from their own home, with just a cushion and a mobile device.”

RevivR teaches you how to recognise a cardiac arrest, gives feedback on chest compressions, and outlines the correct steps of using a defibrillator.

Just a few minutes can ensure you are prepared to act in an emergency – and potentially save a life. Find out more here.

CPR can be the difference between life and death, writes LIZZIE MOSCARDINI

It was a privilege to visit Clapton Girls’ Academy in Hackney with our newly announced BHF ambassadors S Club and watch them take part in a Classroom RevivR session.

This Heart Month, S Club and the BHF are urging the nation to help protect the heart of someone they love by learning CPR.   

What a tremendous example Clapton Girls has set for schools. Their experience really shows how equipping their students with the life-saving skill of CPR can give them the confidence to step in during an emergency situation.  

Tragically, there are over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in the UK with a survival rate of less than one in 10.

Performing quick CPR and defibrillation in the event of a cardiac arrest can be the difference between life and death. 

New figures we’ve released today have shown that nearly half of UK adults (43 percent) have never learnt CPR, suggesting as many as 23 million are yet to learn the skills to save a life.  

The launch of Classroom RevivR has been made possible by the incredible support from our charity partner Royal Mail. 

This free and innovative CPR teaching tool is available for schools and pupils across the country.

In just one lesson, this interactive training will teach 11 to 16-year-olds in all educational settings the lifesaving skill of CPR – with just a mobile device.

– Lizzie Moscardini is RevivR programme manager at the British Heart Foundation 

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