Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Financial support from Meningitis Now adds up to Lily reaching her potential

Andy Hopkinson | 24th August 2021

Last year during the Covid pandemic we set up an emergency fund to support children and young people affected by meningitis and help them to reach their potential

Meningitis Now financial support for Lily

Our Young Futures Fund provided individual awards of up to £500 to support their education, learning and development.

One person who has benefited from the Fund is 16-year-old Lily, from Stratford-on-Avon, who is celebrating success in her Maths GCSE and busy planning her next step in life – a full-time two-year course to study Biomedical Science at Leamington College. 

Lily’s mum Joanna, who contracted meningitis in 2014 and is living with after-effects that include amputations, told us they applied for funding from the Young Futures Fund for a Maths GCSE tutor to help Lily with her forthcoming exam as she was going into her last year at Secondary school.

She explained: “Lily was keen to do the higher tier paper for Maths GCSE as the highest grade she could get on the foundation paper would be a 5, whereas on the higher paper she could achieve anything up to a grade 9.  

Didn’t want her confidence to be knocked  

“Lily’s maths teacher at school was not sure about her doing the higher paper as she didn’t want her confidence to be knocked.  

“However, Lily was determined and, combined with the weekly sessions from her maths tutor, she was allowed to sit the higher tier paper in the summer.”

And guess what - Lily has just received her results and ended up doing even better than she dared hope.

Joanna added: "In September 2020, Lily started her last year at school, working at a grade 4 for Maths. But by the summer of 2021 she ended up achieving an amazing grade 6 for Maths GCSE!

Tutor made a huge difference 

“Having the maths tutor made a huge difference as he was able to teach Lily new things on the higher paper that she had not come across before.  

“This was particularly important during lockdown because there was not enough time for the school to teach Lily anything new. The tutor was in close contact with Lily’s Maths teacher at school who suggested things for Lily to work on, which was really helpful. 

“Lily was delighted to get all her results and especially her Maths GCSE results,” Joanna said. “She got everything she hoped for – and maybe a little bit more – and we, as her parents, were absolutely delighted for her as we knew how hard she had worked for these results and how determined and driven she had been to achieve her full potential. 

“We are even more proud because it has been such a difficult time for all students and especially for those taking exams as they tried to cope with the uncertainty of lockdown, home learning, exams being cancelled and then replaced by mini tests.”

Impact our support can make

Meningitis Now’s Helpline and Information Manager Claire Donovan said: “Congratulations Lily and we’re so glad that our Young Futures Fund was able to help you with your Maths GCSE – what a lovely example of the impact our support can make. Good luck on your Biomedical Science course.”

Claire added: “We know the impact meningitis can have on not just the individual but their family as well, which is why our Awards are available to those indirectly affected too. 

“Although our Young Futures Fund has now come to an end our Rebuilding Futures Fund is still available to make a difference by providing a practical solution that works, bringing opportunity and reducing stress and anxiety to those fighting back from meningitis and their families. 

“We’re proud to provide this unique, life-changing support – the only meningitis organisation to do so in the UK.” 

Support for people of all ages 

Our Rebuilding Futures Fund provides financial and practical support for people of all ages affected by meningitis. 

It comprises four separate areas – Health and Wellbeing; Opportunities; Specialist Equipment; and Bereavement. Each area provides funding towards different types of support, buy they are all designed to help people rebuild their futures with hope and confidence. 

If you, or someone you know would benefit from the Rebuilding Futures Fund please get in touch by contacting your Regional Support Officer or our Helpline, on 0808 80 10 388 or by emailing

Our photo shows a happy Lily reading her exam results.