From making sure students get all the information they need about the disease before they arrive through to staff being fully informed about what to look out for, the university really is proving that they offer a gold star service when it comes to protecting against meningitis.
Our Meningitis Awareness Recognition Mark (MARM) is the first scheme in the world to offer recognition that institutions have undertaken a range of activities to help protect students from the disease. In the case of Leeds Beckett this includes:
- Information on meningitis and the MenACWY vaccine added to the student welcome site in the ‘before you get here’ section;
- Information on meningitis also being included in the ‘six must-dos when you join university' in the Student Health Guide, which every student receives on arrival;
- Information about registering with GPs given to students in advance of their arrival;
- Meningitis and vaccination messages being disseminated via social media and through internal publications;
- Training for frontline staff – including accommodation teams, student services and Students Union - by Meningitis Now ambassadors;
- Posters, leaflets and symptoms cards distributed to halls of residences and displayed across campuses in key locations;
- Meningitis Now awareness stands;
- Inclusion in the university’s Communicable Diseases protocol of a comprehensive guide to specific processes to follow in the event of a meningitis case or outbreak;
- Encouragement to students to look out for each other – including learning the signs and symptoms of meningitis.
These are just a selection of the fantastic actions Leeds Beckett has taken to ensure they are doing everything they can to help fight against meningitis.
Jo Gibson, Associate Director of Student Services at Leeds Beckett University, said they were more than happy to share their action plan and hoped it would encourage other universities to get involved.
“MARM gave us a focus for pulling together the wide range of activities we were already undertaking to support our applicants, students and staff in being aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis. Having a plan in place helps with communication and monitoring, and the support we have received for staff training and student awareness from the Meningitis Now ambassadors has been fantastic, ” Jo said.
“We created a cross-university working group to ensure that relevant teams were involved in discussions. This worked well for us as a large complex organisation, to ensure that where we did feel there were gaps, we could work together to address them.”
Meningitis Now's MARM coordinator, Kelly Archer, added that it was always brilliant to see how innovative universities were being, when finding ways to raise awareness about meningitis and encouraging all students to make sure they are vaccinated.
“We love working with Leeds Beckett, they are incredibly inspirational,” she said. “I would urge other universities to take motivation from their creativity and look at all the many ways it is possible to help fight deadly meningitis on our campuses up and down the country”.