Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Exercise your free will

Andy Hopkinson | 2nd March 2023

Making a will is a big decision, but it is the only way to ensure your wishes are carried out after death and to make sure that your family and friends receive what you would like them to

Exercise your free will

It is also the only way to include any charities that are special to you or who you really want to see benefit once you are gone. 

At Meningitis Now we’ve teamed up with trusted online partners Bequeathed and leading law firm and our long-standing supporter Irwin Mitchell to provide a quick, easy and free way for you to leave your own special legacy to the world during March.

Your legacy could support research that finds new and improves existing vaccines to save lives and prevent disability. It could help give people the knowledge and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of meningitis and take fast action, saving lives through awareness and education. 

And because we don’t want to add to your household bills, now or at any time, our partner firms will provide a completely free, quick and easy way for you to leave your own special legacy to the world. 

Want to find out more? It’s really easy – just visit our page and give us some basic details. We’ll be in touch to help you take it from there.

22 people every day

Every day 22 people and their families and friends are hit with the devastating news that they’ve contracted meningitis. Loved ones will sadly be lost, with all the despair that brings for those left behind. 

And for those who do survive, everyday activities that they took for granted may no longer be possible. Plans and dreams for the future will have to be put on hold, or abandoned altogether. A new life will have to be forged. Families and friends will have to adapt.

When the worst happens, we’re there for these individuals and their families and friends – to explain, reassure, support and, most of all, to show them they’re not alone as they strive to rebuild their futures.

We can’t just turn a switch and stop those 22 cases. But, with your support we can continue to be there when we’re needed. 

Gifts in wills

Gifts in Wills from our supporters are one vital way to help us fulfil our vision of a future where no-one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.

Jo Wilson, our Legacies Officer, said: “We rely entirely on voluntary donations to fund our work. Knowing that supporters have been kind enough to remember us in their wills helps us ensure we will always be here for those who need us.

“We recognise that it’s important to look after your family and friends first and foremost in your will. And we know that including a charity in it is a big decision. Our professional and trusted partners can make sure you get it right.”

In memory of Maisie

One family who have chosen to make a difference in the future by leaving us a legacy is our Community Ambassador Mary Garley and her husband Howard. Mary told us: 

“We lost our granddaughter, Maisie, in 2008, to meningitis; she was just eight months old. She was taken to hospital early in the morning of 15 October and sent home after being told it was just a virus.

“That afternoon she was taken to another hospital and diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. She was sent late that night to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Her little body could not take any more and she left us on the morning of 16 October. Just 24 hours and she was gone.

“Meningitis Now was there for our family at the time and since and everything we do now is for Maisie and to remember her. She’s still with us in spirit and amongst our other support for the charity, which includes donating on Maisie’s birthday and at Christmas when our other grandchildren get presents, we wanted to do something extra special in her honour.

“At the time of making our wills we immediately thought to leave a gift to charity and it was straightforward to include Meningitis Now.

Our wishes will be passed on

“We are now safe in the knowledge that our wishes will be passed on to make a positive and lasting difference for others and that Maisie’s name will live on through that gift.

“I’d encourage others to consider doing the same.”

Just to be clear though, you don’t have to leave a legacy to Meningitis Now if you use either of our free will-writing services. Of course, we’d love it if you did. And if you do, please tell us – we’d like the opportunity to say thank you properly.

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