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Helping others

Target Group

Key Stage 1


14-year old Ben Middleton was with a group of friends when he heard a boy shouting for help from the rooftop of his old school. Ben did 3 things: first, he called 999 on his mobile; then he climbed up to help the boy; then he gave him first aid until help arrived.

Ben MiddletonBen Middleton, Leicester

14-year old Ben Middleton was on his way home from college with a group of friends when he heard a voice shout out, 'Help me! Help me! I've cut my leg! Help me!' He looked up and saw two boys mucking about on the roof of his old school near Leicester.

'We all thought 'whoa! he's mad," says Ben, who shouted back: 'Are you having a laugh, mate?' 'No!' came the reply. And to prove the point, the boy lifted his leg for Ben and his friends to see. Muscle and skin were badly torn, and blood was pouring out of a gaping wound.

Ben immediately used his mobile phone to call the emergency services on 999. He knew that the injured boy needed help fast so he decided to climb up on to the roof - about 20 feet above ground level.

'I don't know why,' Ben says, 'I just did it. It was common sense. I just knew I had to get up there and help him.'

But there was a problem: the first wall had 'anti-climb' paint on it, which made it very difficult to scale.

Somehow Ben managed and made his way up to the roof and along, finally dropping down some 10 feet to reach the injured boy, 14-year old Jamie Morgan.

It was only now that Ben saw how seriously injured Jamie was. He immediately took his hood off and wrapped it round the badly injured leg, pressing on the wound to stop the flow of blood. 'I also lifted his leg up above his head,' recalls Ben. 'I'd seen them do that on 'Casualty' on telly - I thought it would stop the blood going into his leg.'

Jamie remembers how relieved he felt when he saw Ben. 'I was very frightened,' he says. 'I didn't think anyone would be able to get up there. I'd seen Ben around but I didn't know him.'

The whole time, Ben kept talking to Jamie. 'I was telling him jokes and talking about girls,' he says. 'I just wanted to take his mind off what he had done so that he wouldn't feel any worse.' By doing this, Ben helped to keep Jamie conscious. This can make the difference between life and death.

After about a quarter-of-an-hour, the police and then the ambulance service arrived. But they had to wait for the fire service because they needed a hydraulic lift to reach the roof.

Jamie, who'd lost about 4 litres of blood, was taken to hospital. Doctors say he would have been in a far worse state if Ben had not been able to stop the flow of blood.

Jamie's Mum, Ann Morgan, is convinced that Ben's actions saved her son's life.

'If Ben hadn't been there,' she says, 'Jamie would not be alive today. His actions were way ahead of his years. He was very calm. A lot of adults would not have been able to do what Ben did.'

From left: Jamie Morgan, Ben Middleton & Philip SchofieldFor his outstanding bravery, Ben has been awarded a Testimonial on Vellum by the Royal Humane Society.

In December 2004, he was also named a Champion Child by the NSPCC at their annual awards ceremony in London.

And in November 2005, Ben received a Vodafone / Daily Express Lifesavers Award at a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London. Jamie was centre stage, too, as TV personality Philip Schofield made the presentation to Ben.

Jamie is in no doubt that Ben fully deserves his awards. 'I know he saved my life,' he says. 'And I won't be climbing roofs again.'

Class discussion:

  • What 3 things did Ben do to help the other boy?
  • Have you ever seen someone in trouble and not known what to do?
  • How did Ben know what to do?
  • Have you ever seen something on television that has helped you in real life?
  • Why is it important to keep talking to someone who has been injured?
  • What number would you ring to call the emergency services?


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