Skip to content

Effective Voice of the Year 2020

British Heart Foundation – UK
Nation of Lifesavers


In Norway, where CPR is taught in schools, 1 in 4 people survive a cardiac arrest out of hospital. In the UK, where it’s not, only 1 in 10 survive. To change this, we sought to put it on teachers’ agendas and equip them with powerful content to engage and inspire their students. Our mission was simple: to create a nation of lifesavers. Armed with an innovative new CPR training kit and a determination to beat heart disease, we set our sights on secondary schools. To get their attention and inspire them to act, we needed an impactful recruitment campaign and simple, memorable instructions for how to respond in an emergency. The biggest barrier to performing CPR is the fear of getting it wrong, but the truth is that doing nothing is the worst choice you can make, as survival rates drop by 10% with every minute. The key to unlocking our Nation of Lifesavers was to demystify CPR and position it as an everyday skill that everyone can learn. We also identified the addition of CPR training as part of the secondary school curriculum – the mechanism used to drive Norway’s success – to tackle the UK’s poor survival rates. For England, our objective was to secure CPR on the national curriculum, followed by all state secondary schools in England. In Scotland, following engagement with the Scottish Government, it was clear they had no intention of implementing such a policy and so we embarked on a campaign to engage with local authorities who hold the competency to set.