Our volunteers gave over 4,000 hours of their time to support aspects of our work in 2019-20, including raising essential awareness, supporting our student and young people’s campaign, helping out at major events such as the London Marathon (this was the pre-covid year) and delivering elements of our Believe & Achieve programme for young people.
In addition, volunteers and Ambassadors, most of whom have had an experience of meningitis, made valuable contributions to raising awareness of meningitis and fundraising in their communities across the UK.
So, for Volunteers’ Week, 1 to 7 June, we’d like to say the biggest of big thank yous to all our lovely volunteers, who make such an important contribution to our work.
Recognise the difference
Volunteers’ Week, organised annually by the umbrella organisation the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), recognises the difference these shining examples make, and will hopefully inspire others to get involved too.
Isobel Black, our Volunteer Coordinator, said: “Our volunteers are, quite simply, invaluable to us.
“They work as part of a fantastic team across the UK and we simply couldn’t do what we do without their ongoing support, generosity and inspiration – we’re so grateful to you all, thank you.”
Louder awareness messages
Because of our volunteers we are louder with our awareness messages, reaching more people who need us, making change happen, funding more research and, above all, getting closer to making our goal, where no one dies from meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need, a reality.
“Our volunteers help to put right so many misconceptions about meningitis; time and time again we hear that someone didn’t think it was meningitis as there was no rash, or they didn’t know their partner or teenager was at risk as they thought it was a disease that only affects young children.
“Our volunteers are our voice in their local community and by talking about meningitis and highlighting the signs and symptoms they have the potential to save a life.
“By giving a little of your time, you can help us to help those affected by meningitis today,” Isobel added. “A few hours a month, or just once or twice a year, can make an amazing difference.”
Not one-way traffic
But it’s not all one-way traffic.
Research carried out by NCVO has shown that as well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too.
“It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out,” Isobel added. “Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.”
Interested? There are many ways to get involved and help us make a difference.
- Raise awareness. With many places still closed to face-to-face volunteering we have developed a virtual presentation about meningitis that raises awareness of the signs and symptoms. We’d love you to give the presentation to your local secondary schools and colleges to help equip students with vital knowledge before they head off to university.
- Distribute materials. We have a goal over the next few years to get a signs and symptoms fridge magnet into every university dorm in the UK. You can help us by sending some to your local university, or ask us for our digital posters for schools and colleges to display on their screens.
- Event support. Represent us at an event near you, or at a national event. Display banners and posters to help promote events.
- Raise funds. Take part in an event or distribute collection tins in your area.
If you’d like to find out more about volunteering opportunities with Meningitis Now in your area please get in touch with Isobel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whatever you do, make sure you comply with current Government guidelines and stay safe.