Chadwell Heath first-aider nominated for BBC award

A volunteer medic who has given more than 5,000 hours of his time to help injury victims is in the running for a BBC award.

St John Ambulance worker Ahraf Uddin, 35, has volunteered for the charity for 13 years, rescued spinal injury victims at the annual London Triathlon and teaches first-aid to primary schoolchildren.

The design and technology teacher at Warren School in Whalebone Lane North, Chadwell Heath, is up for a “local hero” gong at the BBC1 999 Awards next Thursday.

The father-of-two said: “I feel honoured to have been nominated for this award and thank the BBC for recognising the hard work of the emergency services and volunteers.

“I use the life-saving skills I’ve gained through St John Ambulance to teach young people because I want everyone to have the chance to help others.

“Learning just a few skills can mean the difference between life and death.”

A BBC crew filmed Ashraf as he taught first aid to children at Henry Green Primary in Green Lane, Dagenham, earlier this year.

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London Mayor Boris Johnson hailed Ashraf and other volunteers as “unsung heroes” after they were given Neighbourhood Excellence Initiative Awards by US investment bank Merrill Lynch in 2010.

And in March this year, he was made a Serving Brother of the Order of St John, a rare award recognising “exceptional service” to the St John Ambulance charity.

The BBC awards include several categories, for police officers, paramedics, operators and “local heroes”.

The gongs seek to honour emergency workers who have performed acts beyond the call of duty to help save lives and ensure the public’s safety.

Ashraf, of Chelmsford, Essex, added: “I think it is important to equip the next generation with invaluable life skills by teaching them first aid in schools.

“I don’t think you can ever be too young to learn first aid and research shows that over 70 per cent of schoolchildren would like to learn some basic life-saving skills. In fact, many pupils have expressed interests in first aid being part of the school curriculum.”

The BBC 999 Awards are on BBC1 at 8pm.