A group of students from Claysmore School in Dorset have set up a social enterprise to raise awareness of meningitis.
Known as "Time Meningitis", to emphasise the importance of recognising symptoms of meningitis as early as possible, the student-run organisation aims to make a difference by raising awareness of the disease.
Callum Fisher, one of the founding members of Time Meningitis, said, “We noticed that meningitis was in the news quite a lot and it tended to be with people of our age group, so we unanimously agreed this was the idea for us.”
The team consists of eight students, who each have a defined role, including social media, website, product and video.
After discussing the topic, the team realised that not all of them were aware of the ACWY vaccine available to their age group, which increases their protection from four different strains of meningitis; A, C, W and Y.
The social enterprise aims to encourage students to get the free ACWY vaccine – starting with the Time Meningitis team themselves. A few members had not been vaccinated, but quickly rectified the situation. This provided the inspiration for their first promotional video, where the team proudly state “I’ve had the vaccine”.
Describing the aims and priorities of the project, Callum said, “We would like to not only spread awareness that the vaccine is free, but also spread awareness of the symptoms - as catching them early could save someone’s life. Any person we have convinced to get the vaccine is a success for us.”
The team have been planning and delivering assemblies at their school, and have also been reaching out to other local schools in the Dorset area, with the hope of presenting to more students. They have also set up a dedicated website and social media pages to promote Time Meningitis.
The students behind the social enterprise have sourced their information from the NHS and Meningitis Now websites. They have also interviewed our Young Ambassador Jemma Pressman for their "Meningitis Survivor" video.
Future plans include another video entitled "What is Meningitis?", which will be shared on their social media pages and will link back to the website as a centre point of the whole project.
The school project officially finishes in July, however, the team would like to continue the social enterprise independently if they have the time, as the final year of their A-levels begins.
Summarising the project, Callum said, “Time is too precious to waste. We want as many people as possible to know about this disease, and limit the number of people affected”.