In April last year, Nottingham Trent University joined our ever-growing list of institutions that have gained their Meningitis Awareness Recognition Mark (MARM). This means they have fulfilled a list of criteria including promoting vaccine uptake on their campus, raising awareness about the disease, and planning ahead in case they need to deal with an outbreak
But how does this look on a day-to-day basis? We thought we would ask Paul Dodsley, Nottingham Trent’s Student Health Development Officer, what he and others at the university had been up to.
Paul told us that the university had been “very proactive” over the last year with promoting awareness and encouraging vaccine uptake. Some of the ways they had communicated the messages included:
- Using campus plasma screens
- Advertising on the student app
- Writing in newsletters
- Utilising a nine-metre internal banner
- Displaying messages on multiple pull-up banners across the campus
Paul said he himself had also been attending student lectures and given short, five-minute talks to first years about the disease and signs and symptoms, as well as playing our Fastest Hour video, informing people where to get the Men ACWY vaccination and reflecting on the story of a former student called Charlotte.
Additionally, Paul said he was working closely with the university’s health centres to ensure they were on board, sending texts and posting social media messages to students, and even wearing t-shirts displaying the important messages about meningitis.
“We do lots of awareness around meningitis and MARM gives us the recognition that we are meeting certain standards,” said Paul.
“The MARM logo now features on all our promotional material for the current academic year.”
We asked Paul whether the work involved in meeting the standard had been time-consuming – especially when he first saw our checklist. “No, not at all,” he said.
“The work helps us to save lives, so it’s important that time is spent making sure we focus on meningitis for the safety and duty of care for our students. The process was very easy, and the response was very quick. I really like the fact that there is a plan in place as it gives a standard all universities should be achieving.”
If you work in a university or are a student or parent, why not check if your university has registered for MARM – you could just help to save a life.