Jane has made the Top 100 list of influential women from the South West, due to the difference she has made to the local community and beyond in her role founding Meningitis Now.
Jane beat a long list of other nominees to be named on the Top 100 list, which provides a welcome recognition of Jane’s hard work and dedication within the charitable sector.
Jane is one of the founding members of the meningitis movement in the UK after her son Daniel contracted meningitis in 1984, aged two and a half, and then again in 1995 aged 13.
Talking about her experience, Jane said, “When Dan first contracted meningitis it completely changed our lives – we were in a dark hole and no one could tell us anything. There was very little known about the disease, its after-effects or how long it would take him to recover.”
“As a family we struggled through those early months as there was no support available.”
After her personal experience, and encountering the lack of support and information available, Jane dedicated her life to helping others affected by meningitis, manning the first meningitis Helpline from her sitting room in the mid-1980s and taking the fight for recognition of the disease to Parliament.
In 2015, the Men B vaccine was added to the childhood immunisation programme – something which Meningitis Now had been campaigning for alongside supporters. This was a huge milestone for the charity, and one which Jane had a personal interest in too, as she had just become a grandma.
Jane’s granddaughter Daisy (Daniel’s daughter), was one of the first babies to receive the Men B vaccine in 2015 – a poignant moment for Jane and her family.
The awards ceremony is being held at Brunel’s Old Station, Bristol, and will be hosted by Rachael Sugden, Senior Editor for GloucestershireLive, Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo.
Talking about her nomination, Jane said, “When you set out to make things better it’s never for praise. I am truly honoured that I have been nominated for such an amazing award and that the efforts of all who have been instrumental in changing lives for the better has been recognised.”
The public have been busy voting and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 12 April.
Good luck Jane!