One of our founders, Dr Jane Wells MBE, will speak at the concert and recall how little was known about the disease or its impact 33 years ago in the "dark days in the 1980s" when her eldest son Daniel became ill.
“Back in those dark days in the 1980s there was little knowledge about the mysterious disease affecting the Stroud Valleys,” Jane says. “As a family we struggled through those early months as there was no support available."
“The formation of the Stroud Meningitis Support Group, of which I am a founder, has transformed this relatively unknown disease into a household name.”
Second to none support service
“We have been instrumental in setting up the world’s leading charity on meningitis, providing a second-to-none support service to those families affected by meningitis. They no longer have to struggle alone. I am proud to say we have helped to provide five vaccines, significantly reducing incidence of the disease. Our awareness campaigns have saved hundreds of lives through education programmes across schools, colleges and with parents.”
Jane’s granddaughter and Daniel’s daughter Daisy was one of the first babies to receive the vaccine for Meningococcal group B disease when this was introduced into the Childhood Immunisation Programme in 2015.
The biggest gift of all
“The biggest gift of all that I have been able to give Dan and his daughter Daisy is peace of mind that they would not have to relive those distressing days.”
Our Christmas Celebration Concert takes place on Thursday 14 December at Gloucester Cathedral. The musical celebration is one of the most popular events in our calendar, offering traditional Christmas carols and festive musical entertainment in a wonderful and moving setting.
This year’s event sees performances from the Band of the Gloucestershire Constabulary, Bishop’s Cleeve Primary Academy and solo flautist, Clemency Rubinstein. The evening will be compered by Steve Knibbs from BBC Points West. There’s even the promise of a visit from Father Christmas and a seasonal snow storm.
Christmas tree and ribbons
The cathedral will also feature a Christmas tree adorned with hundreds of white ribbons, each one in remembrance of a loved one lost to meningitis.
Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are now on sale and cost £5 for side aisle seats and £10 in the nave with discounts for groups. Tickets include entry to the concert, a programme and a seasonal mince pie. All proceeds help to fund preventative research, raise awareness and support those affected by the disease through our unique range of services.