Steve launches walk around Northern Ireland coast

22nd April 2017

Our founder Steve Dayman has launched his latest long-distance walk in Londonderry. Steve, front left, plans to walk 201 miles around the coast of Northern Ireland from Derry to Rostrevor over nine days between late May and early June

Steve's final walk

He was joined for the announcement, from the steps of the Guildhall by local supporters, including our Community Ambassador Carl Monteith and the local MP and Meningitis Now supporter Mark Durkan. This is the same spot where his first charity walk from Derry to London started in 1992.

It will be Steve’s 34th and final charity walk. His efforts so far have seen him walk over 12,000 miles and raise over £2 million to fight meningitis.

Steve hopes to raise £25,000 during this walk for our ongoing lifesaving and life-changing work – carrying out research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing support to those living with the impact of the disease.

“I’ve been involved with the meningitis movement for over 34 years, since losing my 14-month-old son Spencer in 1982 to meningococcal meningitis,” Steve said. 

Better understanding of this disease

“There were no organisations to represent the disease then, so I’ve dedicated my life to help create a better understanding of this disease.”

Steve became the founding chairman of the Meningitis Trust, now Meningitis Now, in 1986.

“Families and communities who have experienced meningitis have been the driving force behind our activities. Together we were the first charity to address this awful disease,” he added, “and since then we have funded over £12 million of preventative research, distributed over 20 million awareness symptoms cards, taken over one million helpline calls and supported thousands of families who lives have been devastated by meningitis. Spencer’s passing pioneered the greater understanding of meningitis which we have today.” 

Sponsorship and donations

Charity supporters and families who have been affected by meningitis from across Northern Ireland will be sponsored to join Steve for various stages of his walk and donations will also be collected from the public throughout. If you would like to support, you can dontae to Steve's walk.

“There is a misconception that meningitis is a thing of the past and this complacency puts lives at risk” Steve added. “The fight against meningitis is far from over, and we would like to hear from other families in Northern Ireland who have experienced meningitis, and could help us continue our journey.”  

“Every year thousands more lives are impacted by this devastating disease. We will continue to save lives and prevent disability through improving prevention and speedy diagnosis and help to improve the quality of life of those affected by increased recognition of the impact of meningitis and the provision of timely, effective support.”