Get waddling for Meningitis Now this spring

14th April 2023

Toddle Waddle is an exciting fundraising opportunity for children and their adults. Every year kids around the country take part in raising money for Meningitis Now by going for a waddle!

Get waddling for Meningitis Now this spring

All children can take part in Toddle Waddle, whether they are in a pushchair, a wheelchair, crawling, waddling or walking! 

The walk can take place whenever you like and can be as long as you think little ones will enjoy. 

Spring into action

Now that spring is in the air, flowers are in bloom, and the days are getting longer why not organise your Toddle Waddle with your nursery school, friends, family, or club. You could do it at the local park, the beach, woods, or community center.

By organising a Toddle Waddle you can help us raise essential funds to support children, their families, and adults who have experienced meningitis. 

Each waddler could ask their friends and family for sponsorship, or you could charge an entry fee to your Toddle Waddle. Why not ask for donations for some tasty treats too!

Waddle motivation

Delyia Getty is a toddler group manager from Northumberland. She has organized Toddle Waddles at her volunteer-run toddler group since 2004, and recently the motivation to raise money for Meningitis Now has become even more pertinent. 

Delyia says, “In the past we raised the money for what we thought was a very worthwhile cause but this year one of our children at toddler group suffered from meningitis. We are now even more determined to make our Toddle Waddle a success!”

Harriet, who contracted meningitis when she was 11 months old, has recently had cochlear implants fitted due to hearing loss as a result of contracting the disease. 

Get waddling for Meningitis Now this spring

Close to our hearts

Harriet’s mum, Kate, says, “We were so delighted to hear that Delyia had chosen to donate proceedings from the Toddle Waddle to Meningitis Now as it’s close to our hearts. 

“We had always just assumed a child would have a rash if they had meningitis, so when Harriet suddenly because very unwell at 11 months old in December ‘21 it wasn’t on our radar to even think about meningitis. 

“Harriet was rushed to the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle where they confirmed she had bacterial pneumococcal meningitis. She received exceptional care from the team, and we know without a doubt if they hadn’t acted as fast as they did Harriet wouldn’t be here today.”

Hearing loss

After four months in hospital recovering Harriet was so responsive and animated towards hospital staff that doctors didn’t think she would have any lasting effects. It wasn’t until they got home and Kate realised that Harriet wasn’t responding to her name that she realised there was something wrong.

Kate says, “A few weeks after being home it was confirmed that Harriet had profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss as a result of her illness. 

“The audiology department were exceptional with their level of care toward both Harriet and us. They directed us to the Meningitis Now website for additional support and guidance. 

“Harriet was able to be fitted with two cochlear implants. A few months and multiple appointments later we were amazed that we were already seeing results with her responses.”

Old self

To look at Harriet now, other than her jazzy headbands to keep her “ears” on, you wouldn’t know she’d been ill at all. 

Kate and Harriet are looking forward to Delyia’s Toddle Waddle this spring;

“Delyia’s toddler group has definitely helped get Harriet back to her old self. When she first started attending, she couldn’t walk on her own due to both balance issues and from losing so much weight and muscle while in hospital, and she didn’t chatter as much. 

“Now, she’s running lengths of the hall, singing and dancing away! We know she’ll love the Toddle Waddle as she’s always happiest when she’s outside - especially if she can have her wellies on and splash!”

Here are 5 handy steps to get going with your very own Toddle Waddle! Don’t forget to register your event with us to receive your own fundraising pack!