Rosie Heaton (one of our fabulous YAs) won the title at the Salix Stars Awards on 27 November in Salford. She had fierce competition but came out on top for all the amazing work she’s done for Meningitis Now since battling the disease herself.
The award recognises people who have volunteered their time to make a difference to other people’s lives and the environment, celebrating the amazing work being done by volunteers.
Rosie was struck down with meningitis when she was seven and despite overcoming the illness, she developed chronic kidney disease and ME. She spent most of her teenage years in and out of a wheelchair and was forced to miss five years in mainstream school (when you get a minute, check our Rosie’s blog - she tells us all about her experience).
Rosie said: "I try not to let my ME hold me back, because it’s just something that’s there and you have got to move on with your life. It has been difficult at times because I was in a wheelchair for a long time, but that’s just life"
Despite her condition, Rosie has campaigned passionately alongside us, calling for Government to introduce the Men B vaccine for all babies to help prevent anyone else suffering this terrible disease. She took petitions to Downing Street calling for action and in September we finally got our wish - the vaccine was introduced into the childhood immunisation programme.
As well as all her hard work in campaigning and spreading awareness, Rosie has also raised over £6,000 for us by organising a series of fundraising events.
A round of applause for Rosie!