Meningitis Now staff - Cheryl Brown

Reflecting on the COVID-19 Young Futures Fund

Cheryl Brown | 16th November 2020

At Meningitis Now, we know that many children and young people who have had an experience of meningitis will have a range of physical, emotional and psychological issues that are affecting their young lives

Meningitis Now's COVID-19 Young Futures Fund closes

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, we have seen evidence of how these issues may have become even greater, as lockdown and the requirements of social distancing limit people’s normal access to education, medical and social care services, and family support. 

In June 2020 we provided an emergency financial response to this crisis and launched our Covid-19 Young Futures Fund. This Fund, providing individual awards up to £500, was created to support the education, learning and development needs of children and young people (0-25 years of age), whose lives have been affected by meningitis and are now further impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meningitis Now financial support - COVID-19 Young Futures Fund montage

"In turbulent times, being able to keep up with online lessons/clubs (including chess and PE) has been so important to Harry and has helped to keep his mind and body busy.”

We made 62 awards in total, funding items including laptops, printers, i-pads, workstations, outdoor play and leisure equipment, sensory toys, games consoles, online training, tuition and text books.

Made a big difference

One hundred per cent of award recipients stated that the financial support helped a lot and made a big difference.

“I am now able to use different design software and it has also given me the opportunity to start looking into starting my own business and starting my own online blog.”

“Luke’s self-esteem was at an all-time low, struggling at school, lockdown felt like the end of the line. The Chromebook gave him frustration-free access to research some entrepreneurial ideas for his future, designing his own future business webpage.”

“Ella is now able to attend speech therapy online with her speech therapist. She has exercises she can do on the iPad, it has made a massive difference to her development.”

“It was a relief to receive financial support during Covid as equipment is vital when we had limited therapies from the NHS.”

“Having the funding for Bella’s chair during this hard time has given Bella a place to be herself a tranquil setting, calm amongst the chaos. We have added into her sensory routine. It’s somewhere she feels safe and is home to her.”

It is vital that we continue to support children, young people and their families in the months to come as there is little doubt that this crisis is going to create significant long-term challenges. It is likely to affect all areas of their lives including their physical and emotional health and wellbeing, education, relationships (families and friends) and employment opportunities.

Hope and confidence

Cheryl Brown, our Support Services Manager, is delighted at the response to our emergency fund. 

“We were proud to support so many families through our Young Futures Fund and hope that continuing to provide financial support, through this pandemic and beyond, will help many others begin to face the future with hope and confidence.”

Although our emergency fund has now closed, if you know someone who could benefit from financial support, this is now available through our Rebuilding Futures Fund. Application forms are available from our Helpline team on 0808 80 10 388 or by emailing

Read how we helped Sophie and Abbie through the Covid-19 Young Futures Fund:

Abbie's COVID-19 Young Futures Fund award from Meningitis Now

Supporting Sophie with Meningitis Now's COVID-19 Young Futures Fund