Simon Heyes, based in Hertfordshire, has just launched his new business venture. Novel is a search, social media and digital storytelling agency, and, despite being a start up, he is donating 3 per cent of all his client fees to us to help towards our research, awareness and support work.
Simon made a vow to support our work five years ago when he lost his sister Donna to meningitis.
“I vowed to do everything I could in terms of using my digital marketing knowledge to raise funds to help ensure other lives and families are not devastated by this vicious disease”, he told us.
“As I was working for another company at the time, that vow was pretty hard to execute, so when I started novel back in July, I decided that now is the time to put all the skills I’ve learnt over the course of my career into full practice, whilst donating a percentage of everything I earn to Meningitis Now."
“And stick to the vow I gave myself five years ago.”
Losing Donna was a very harrowing experience that Simon and his family are still coming to terms with, five years on. To being okay on the Thursday, the mother of one, from Preston in Lancashire, went to being non-responsive in intensive care on the Sunday.
“It was incredibly sudden and tragic, and something we’re still coming to terms with to be honest”, Simon added. “She was taken far too soon, but the love and laughter she gave us all will always remain. Donna was full of fun, joy and mischief – she lit up a room with her smile and infectious laugh – she is so missed, but will never be forgotten.”
Since then Simon, who recently became a father for the first time himself to son Ben, teamed up with his close friend Mark Slater to take on an extreme Lake District peaks challenge in Donna’s memory, because Donna adored the picturesque area.
Simon and Mark scaled 24 of England’s most challenging peaks – each more than 2,400ft – overcoming aches, pains, blisters, darkness and the elements and finishing within 24 hours, to raise over £2,000 for us back in 2014.
And he plans to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks next year, and when Ben is a little older, the Coast to Coast path in Scotland. “All in good time!” as he says.
Find out more about Simon's novel.
Say hello to Simon’s Springer Spaniel Pip, who will accompany him on his Yorkshire Three Peaks trek.
Got your own dog and want to help us fundraise? Have a look at Wag for Meningitis.