Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Magical fancy dress on Meningitis Now's Five Valleys Walk

Andy Hopkinson | 4th September 2019

Those coming along to our Five Valleys Walk should keep their eyes peeled for sightings of a rare and magical beast that, it is rumoured, will be roaming the hills and valleys around Stroud on Sunday 29 September

Meningitis Now supporter Charlie becomes magical unicorn for Five Valleys Walk

Yes, we hear that on our walk this year we’ll be joined by a unicorn – an elusive legendary creature, which can be very difficult to spot.

Actually, this one might be a bit easier to see, because it will in fact be our supporter Charlie Rees, who’s participating in the walk in a big bright unicorn onesie!

Even more challenging

As if trekking 21 miles up hill and down dale was not hard enough Charlie has made the challenge even more – well, challenging. Thank heavens for those special magical unicorn powers, which I’m sure will help him complete the walk.

Twenty-six-year-old Charlie, who works at Berry bpi group in Stroud, told us, “You’re a charity close to home for me and I am passionate about the work you guys do.

“Someone special to me had viral meningitis in February this year. Thankfully they’ve gone on to make a good recovery.”

Worth every penny

Charlie hopes to raise £300 towards our lifesaving and life-changing work, and we think with his costume he’s worth every penny of this! You can support his efforts at

Sophia Lanciano-Newman, our events fundraiser, said, “We’re all very intrigued and excited by Charlie’s costume and can’t wait to see him on the day – what a brilliant idea. We wish him well with his fundraising and the walk and thank him for his support.”

Charlie is also one of a group of colleagues from Berry bpi group in Stroud taking part in a Healthy Minds 1,000 Mile Challenge to raise awareness for both us and the charity Mind, the site’s chosen charity. The site has focused on improving mental health awareness and is using the campaign to raise awareness of the benefits exercise can have on mental wellbeing. The challenge is to complete the distance in a fortnight and the group will kick it off by taking part in the Five Valleys Walk. “Our aim is then to continue the challenge by completing the 1,000 miles before the RPC Safety Week begins on 13 October,” Charlie added.

Find out more at

Why not join us?

If you fancy a bit of gentle unicorn spotting why not come along on the day? There’s no need to dress as a unicorn yourself, but you can of course if you want. Other fancy dress is also very welcome, as are other creatures (by which we mean well-behaved dogs). 

And there’s no need to walk the entire 21 miles either – just pick the sections you’d like to do and then catch one of our free buses, courtesy of Stagecoach, back to your starting point.

You can find out more about the walk and sign up on our Five Valleys Walk page

We look forward to seeing you on the day.

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