Meningitis Now Young Ambassador Rosie Heaton

Making our voice heard

Rosie 27th November 2015

Last Wednesday, the 18th November, the Young Ambassadors went on mass to London to host a Parliamentary Reception

HoC jacob letterbox
3am came, my alarm went off and I had to make myself look semi-presentable (…well, as presentable as physically possible when it’s the middle of the night) and by 5am Jacob (who had very kindly offered me a lift) and I were well on our way to London.

After a very intellectual conversation with an Uber driver who should definitely run for Prime Minister, we arrived at Parliament a couple of hours early and parked ourselves in the coffee shop waiting for others to arrive. We spent this time googling house prices and trying not to faint at how expensive London is compared to the north. T

hen, Nick Robinson (the BBC’s political correspondent) walked past and I proper fangirled. The realisation that I might be old and a real life grown up hit me hard, but I have to admit that when it comes to Nick Robinson I have no regrets.  

Anyway, by 12.45, the rest of the staff, young ambassadors and community ambassadors had arrived and we made our way to the room where we were hosting our reception.  Sashes were donned and we were ready to get stuff done.  

A steady stream of guests started to arrive and I began to babble at anyone who would listen about how important it is that meningitis should stay on the government’s agenda, and putting forward the idea that if any child in a family has experienced Meningitis B, siblings should be given the vaccine due to how traumatic a meningitis experience is for all involved.  

My MP arrived around half way through the event, just in time for the speeches, after I’d sent her a tweet a few weeks earlier. It’s really important to make your voice heard when it comes to something so important.  

She probably disagrees and thinks I am the most annoying constituent ever, but eh, what are they there for? I’m very appreciative that she did come though. 

The speeches came round and Jo, a Young Ambassador, made her plea and highlighted the need for more understanding in siblings of people who have had meningitis as well as its long lasting impact. This was followed by an emotional speech by television’s Dr. Ellie, whose son had viral meningitis and explained how important the knowledge of frontline doctors was. 

Jacob then spoke, with his speech highlighting the importance of the ACWY vaccine and awareness in young adults. Sue concluded, and we even had an appearance from Heidi Alexander MP, the Shadow Health Secretary, whose brother had had meningitis when he was younger.  

This just goes to show that meningitis doesn’t discriminate.

Overall, we had a successful day and it was good to catch up with everyone and meet new people too. I feel like we conveyed our message and fulfilled our task of keeping people aware, with plenty of MPs and business people attending.

The icing on the cake, though, was the mini-food. Mini sausages, mini crackers, mini EVERYTHING. 

What is it about mini food that beats normal sized food?