He will work alongside our team to help fund vital research, raise awareness and support others who have suffered from meningitis.
“Becoming a Community Ambassador is a real honour,” Barry said, “and I was thrilled to have even been considered for the role.
“I see myself as a regular guy, who survived bacterial meningitis twice, who tries to raise awareness and fundraise for the charity whenever I can.
“Having survived it twice, and read so many meningitis stories, I am all too aware of just how serious an illness it is.
“In my opinion, sadly, too many people don’t know what meningitis is, don’t know its symptoms, how serious it can be, and that sometimes it can be deadly.
“If becoming a Community Ambassador adds more weight to my raising awareness and fundraising efforts, then I am all for it.
“Being a Community Ambassador is a way to work with the local community, schools and universities to provide an informed view of meningitis and the invaluable work of Meningitis Now in funding research and supporting families affected.”
Needn’t face meningitis alone
The Community Ambassador role recognises the part played by committed supporters in our work. Barry becomes one of just 29 people around the UK to be invited to become one.
“I’m proud and privileged to be involved with this amazing charity and its ongoing work,” Barry added. “I honestly believe that had it not been for charities like Meningitis Now, researching into treatments and vaccines for the various types of meningitis, I would not be here today.”
Barry, 54, who has fought back from meningitis twice, has actively supported our work by raising disease awareness and taking part in fundraising events, including the virtual London Marathon.
He has also represented us at the House of Commons for our Adults Get It Too awareness campaign.
At a more local level, Barry takes every opportunity to raise awareness by running stands in various venues, including Queens University, and has distributed our symptoms cards across the province.
Joanne Wilson, our Fundraising Officer in Northern Ireland, said: “We’re thrilled that Barry will be the face of our charity in his local community. He takes a huge interest in everything we do and is always keen to support us in any way he can.
“He’ll be an asset to the Northern Ireland team and with his support, enthusiasm and hard work we’ll be able to achieve so much more in our fight against meningitis.”