Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

B&A Group take the Fabulous Virtual Walk to Bristol

Andy Hopkinson | 15th December 2020

We may be in the middle of a pandemic but that hasn’t stopped our good friends at B&A Group from continuing to raise money to fight meningitis

Meningitis Now corporate partners B&A Group take on Fabulous Virtual Walk

The leading provider of recycled aggregates, earthworks and waste management is moving ever closer to its £100,000 pledged target to fund vital vaccine research, thanks to the ongoing efforts and commitment of its management and staff.

Their latest achievement saw nine of them - Clare Berkely, Gemma Berkely, Jade Gibbs, Ashley Bruno, Debbie Jordan, Izabela Papros, Stuart Palmer, Karolina Kapitanovaite and Mandy Tissier – putting on their walking boots and getting inspired by our Fabulous Virtual Walk challenge.

Two of the team, Karolina Kapitanovaite and Izabela Papros, completed a picturesque half marathon walk through the woods in Wales between Chepstow and Tintern, finishing it off and rounding up to 21 miles – the distance of our Five Valleys Walk – by adding in the eight miles of the Bristol Bridges trail. Karolina, a transport administrator and weighbridge operator, and Izabela, who’s responsible for day-to-day administration tasks within the transport department at B&A Group, really enjoyed their walks.

Always up for a challenge

Karolina, 30, told us, “I have enjoyed the experiences and hope to do much more, I’m always up for a challenge! The best bit is completing the challenges with my work colleagues.

“I was meant to be doing the Three Peaks Challenge, but this will now be next year’s challenge hopefully.”

Izabela, 36, added, “Meningitis Now is a charity we support here at B&A and I’m happy I can be part of it. 

“Apart from raising significant amounts of money we always commit ourselves to a big sporting challenge, which I find exciting to complete. Last year we took part in the Bristol Half Marathon.

“We usually train together and talk about it for months. We promote our plans and achievements on social media and raise funds from co-workers, companies which work with B&A and from family and friends. 

Lots of fun

“I can say that raising money for Meningitis Now is always lots of fun with a noble purpose. It is simply so worthwhile to do it!”

For those who want to follow in Karolina and Izabela’s footsteps, the Bristol Bridges walk includes the famous Suspension Bridge (seen in our photo below), Bristol Bridge, Avon Bridge and a 'bridge of lovers' in Harbourside – Pero’s Bridge.

Meningitis Now corporate partners B&A Group take on Fabulous Virtual Walk

“We started very early on a slightly frosty and misty morning in the heart of the city and during our walk of nearly three hours around the city centre the weather improved and even the sun came out. 

“It was fascinating ticking all the points from our list, while watching how Bristol was waking up and getting busier. 

“Walking with purpose, and wearing the Meningitis Now orange with the logo was an unforgettable experience – I’m sure not the last one!” Izabela added.

Harsh realities

Although neither thankfully has a direct experience of meningitis, when Karolina was a 16-year-old living in Lithuania her mum was a surgeon in the local hospital. “She thought it would be good for me to volunteer with children who had suffered the effects of meningitis whilst they were in hospital and I learnt the harsh realities of how this disease affects families and the children themselves,” she said.

Together the team from B&A Group raised £1,536 by taking part in the Fabulous Virtual Walk, from their registration fees and fundraising.

Sarah Ramsay, our Partnerships Manager, said, “What a brilliant achievement by the team and we thank them and everyone at B&A Group for their continuing support of our work. 

“Between them they have now raised an incredible £78,000 and their ongoing dedication will help to fund vital research in the fight against meningitis and ultimately help us protect more people from this devastating disease.

“Thanks to their efforts we’re moving ever closer to achieving our vision, where no one dies from meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.”

Over the years B&A Group has taken on a range of events to raise funds, including competing in the Bristol Half Marathon, organising quizzes, attending events like the South Gloucestershire Show and the ever-popular pop-up lunches. Last year they took the partnership to new heights when they launched a jointly branded hot air balloon.

Our corporate partners are pivotal in helping us raise vital funds and awareness of meningitis, For more information about how your company can get involved, contact Sarah Ramsay at