Aimed at anyone aged between 11 and 18 who is living with the impact of meningitis, the two fun-packed days at the end of July are a brilliant way for the youngsters to meet and bond with their contemporaries, share experiences, gain confidence and try new things.
This year, the weekend will be held in the beautiful surroundings of Exmoor national park, at the Calvert Trust activity centre. Here, our Believe & Achievers will be able to join in challenging activities such as zip-lining, sailing, orienteering, abseiling, archery and bushcraft – all in a safe but friendly environment.
As well as gaining confidence in their own abilities and making friends with others, the weekend gives participants the chance to spend time with their own parent or carer and use the opportunity to strengthen family bonds.
Feedback from previous Believe & Achieve weekends has been overwhelmingly positive. The children involved spoke of how much they had enjoyed the activities, and socialising with others, as well as how it had helped them come out of their shell. Parents said it had been a “lifeline” for them and that although aimed at their kids, it went a long way to also meeting their needs as parent carers.
Meningitis Now Support Services Manager Cheryl Brown said these annual weekends were a response to reports from supporters who had told them how alone and isolated meningitis had made them feel.
“We always get great feedback after the weekends from our participants and their families – whether that be because they have found a new friend or because they have been able to spend a whole two days away from their usual daily routine just having fun,” she said.
“But there is a very important purpose behind our Believe & Achieve events that is more than just having a good time. We know that living with the impact of meningitis – whether that be as a survivor yourself, living with physical disabilities, or as a close family member or friend of someone who had the disease – can be hugely challenging. These weekends give youngsters the chance to share their burdens with others, to forget about their problems for a few hours, to receive vital support from their contemporaries and from us at Meningitis Now."
“We know we can’t provide a magic wand and make everything instantly better but we hope that we can provide a safe place for our Believe and Achieve youngsters to explore ways to help themselves move towards a brighter future”.
Find out more about the weekend, which takes place from 26 – 28 July.