Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

There's still time to catch our BBC Lifeline Appeal

Andy Hopkinson | 9th May 2021

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all our lovely supporters who have contributed to our BBC Lifeline charity appeal, first broadcast on Sunday 25 April

BBC Lifeline Appeal for Meningitis Now

So far the appeal has raised over £14,000 towards our ongoing work to defeat meningitis in the UK within a generation and reach out to everyone who needs help, support and information following meningitis.

If you haven’t caught up with it yet the 10-minute programme is still available (until Sunday 16 May) on the BBC iPlayer.

The programme is presented by our wonderful Celebrity Ambassador, Lisa Snowdon, whose passion for our work started after she contracted viral meningitis a few years back, which left her fighting to recover for three months. Read Lisa’s story here.

It focuses on our impact on fighting meningitis and highlights the vital support we provide. Lisa introduces our Executive Founder Steve Dayman, and also moving and heartfelt stories from supporters, including Harmonie-Rose, Joanna and Sophia Sloan and Julia Styles.

BBC Lifeline Appeal for Meningitis Now

Energetic and lively

Harmonie-Rose’s story is well known to supporters, who will have followed it on our website and social media as she has blossomed into an energetic and lively 7-year-old since losing her arms and legs to meningitis at 10 months old. Our founder Steve rushed to visit Harmonie in hospital, offering help and support to the family, especially mum Freya and dad Ross, as they dealt with every parent’s worst nightmare. In recognition of Harmonie-Rose and her family’s ongoing support we made the Bath youngster our first Junior Ambassador last Autumn.

Developmental delays

Sophia was just a baby when she fell ill with meningitis and was admitted to hospital. Mum Joanna, from Belfast, told us: “My mind went from planning her funeral to ordering presents for her first Christmas.” 

Thankfully Sophia survived, but the disease left the now 6-and-a-half year-old with global developmental delays, severe learning disability and severe speech delay. We have supported the family through helping them arrange fundraisers, providing counselling, through our popular Family Days and, most recently, through funding a ‘Talker’ for Sophia through our Rebuilding Futures Fund. Read Sophia's story here.

Immeasurable loss

Nineteen-year-old Teaching Assistant Emily was struck down with meningococcal meningitis on New Year’s Eve 2013. Mum Julia said: “We have so many wonderful happy memories from the moment Emily came into the world, but she had so much more to give and our immeasurable loss is for all that was yet to come. She would have been a brilliant teacher, wife and mummy, but sadly was denied these chances to shine.” Read Emily's story here.

Julia, from Malmesbury in Wiltshire, speaks movingly on the Lifeline Appeal about how we provided support like "arms wrapped around her" and of the importance of our reaching out after she lost Emily. 

Further information about the BBC Lifeline Appeal is available here.