The event, held on Wednesday 14 December, was a highpoint in the charity’s year and was created to thank those who have contributed to its achievements and success over the last three decades. Those who attended included the charity’s founders, its voluntary community and young ambassadors and major fundraisers.
Speaking on the night The Countess said: “Meningitis Now is a great charity that has never stood still. It is amazing what it has achieved over the past 30 years."
The Countess, who has been Royal Patron of Meningitis Now since 2003, added: “I would like to thank everyone here tonight on behalf of the thousands of families that you have helped the charity to support. It could not be done without friends like you.”
Meningitis Now traces its history to an outbreak of meningitis in the towns of Stroud and Stonehouse in Gloucestershire in the mid-1980s.
Then a group of concerned parents came together to fight back against the disease with the simple aim of increasing public awareness of meningitis and the signs and symptoms, funding research into a vaccine that would save lives and provide support and information to those who had been affected, eventually founding The Meningitis Trust in 1986. This became Meningitis Now in 2013, following a merger with charity Meningitis UK.
Thanking The Countess for hosting the reception, Rachel Robinson, acting Chief Executive of Meningitis Now, said: “There is a misconception that meningitis is a thing of the past and this complacency puts lives at risk. The fight against meningitis is far from over.”
“Every year thousands more lives are impacted by this disease. We will continue to save lives and prevent disability through improving prevention and speedy diagnosis whilst helping to improve the quality of life of those affected by increased recognition of the impact of meningitis and the provision of timely, effective support.”