Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Jack Fowler inspires Believe & Achievers at London event

Andy Hopkinson | 24th May 2022

Music artist and former Love Island contestant Jack Fowler surprised and delighted young people fighting back from meningitis at the weekend, when he turned up at our Believe & Achieve social event

Jack Fowler attends Meningitis Now Believe & Achieve event

The 26-year-old former semi-professional footballer spent an hour chatting and posing for photos with the young people who were taking part in our Sherlock escape room challenge.

Jack, who recovered from meningitis himself in 2019, then raised further awareness about the disease and its signs and symptoms when he told followers about the event on Instagram. 

Jack Fowler attends Meningitis Now Believe & Achieve event

It sucked 

He said: “I've just come back from a talk with Meningitis Now, a charity obviously about meningitis and as you guys may or may not know, I had meningitis in 2019 and it SUCKED. It was nasty – headache, you know, very very painful. 

“I was lucky, I had a full recovery – but there are some people that didn't, some people have died from it, some people have lost limbs, become deaf and lost their sight and memory. 

“So, I suppose I'm jumping on here to bring more awareness to it, to make sure you know about meningitis. 

It wasn’t a hangover

“I thought I had a bad hangover. But yeah, it wasn't a hangover. And a lot of people get meningitis when they're very young, or early 20s/late teens, and when you're late teens you're going out a lot. You're going to university, you're meeting new people, you're going to clubs, you're probably drinking, so a lot of young people think it's just a hangover and it's not – they try to go to sleep and they don't wake up.  

“So look, I'm gonna do more for this – as much as I can – but make sure you read up on meningitis, especially if you're young and going to uni.”

Becky Hartwell, our Believe & Achieve Programme Coordinator, who organised the event, said: “Jack stayed for an hour and he was absolutely brilliant. He spent time with everyone, listened to their stories, had photos taken and gave a great speech about his own experiences of meningitis.

Spoke from the heart

“He was completely genuine, spoke from the heart and has pledged to keep on raising awareness for us, which is wonderful news. Thanks to his support we’ll be able to reach so many more young people with our vital lifesaving messages.”

Jack Fowler at Meningitis Now Believe & Achieve event

Believe & Achieve is our innovative programme for 14 to 25-year-olds who have been impacted by meningitis and aims to support them to reach their goals.

Becky added: “Believe & Achieve can help you think about where you are in life, set and achieve goals, overcome challenges, make new friends, learn new skills, celebrate successes and ultimately, give you the confidence to believe in yourself.

“We run a range of Believe & Achieve days and social events and offer activities and support from a variety of professionals, life coaches and mentors – I know meeting Jack and hearing about his experience will be inspirational for the young people who came along at the weekend.”

Find out more about Believe & Achieve for yourself or a family member here or contact the team.

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