Business Volunteer Advisor Carole Jones, who mentors the group, outlines their progress to date.
TIME, a student company formed by 6th formers at Clayesmore School under the Young Enterprise Company Programme Scheme, have beaten all other schools in Dorset to represent Dorset in the Company of the Year South West Finals, taking place on 13 June in Exeter.
TIME won a total of five awards, which included Company of the Year in Dorset.
The Company programme offers students the opportunity to set up and run a company for a year providing real-life experiences that will aid future development and opportunities for the students.Social enterprise raising awareness
Whilst most companies are set up to develop and sell a product and become a profit making organisation, TIME took the unusual step to become a Social Enterprise with a mission to raise awareness of meningitis amongst teenagers and encourage vaccine take-up.
Having seen a news report about a third teenager dying within the Bristol area of meningitis, the company believed that as teenagers, they were well placed to reach out to other teens.
A pivotal point in their campaign was interviewing our Young Ambassador Jemma Pressman, who contracted meningitis at university, first believing it to be Freshers’ Flu. Jemma spent three months in a coma and a year in hospital and is now a wheelchair user - read Jemma's story here.Social media campaign
TIME created a series of videos and started a social media campaign, created a website and Facebook site and have attended and presented at assemblies to create awareness that a vaccine is available for Men ACWY and to encourage take-up. They also created wristbands, which they sell at £1 to pay for Facebook advertising.
It was not until 2015 that a vaccine became routinely available for those aged 14, but if a teen was aged 15 in 2015 they missed out – so there remains a gap of teens who have not been offered the vaccine. It has also been found that a third of those eligible for the jab simply don’t take it up.
The AWCY vaccine is available to those aged 14 to 25 from the patient’s GP.Time is key with meningitis
TIME’s Managing Director, Callum Fisher, said, “We chose our name TIME, simply because TIME is key with meningitis. We would urge all teens to check if you had the vaccine – and put simply, if you haven’t, there is no time like the present – just get it – your life matters!”
Dr Tom Nutt, our chief executive, said, “We wish the TIME team the best of luck in the South West Finals and hopefully in the Nationals and beyond."
“What they are doing is so important. Meningitis is a devastating disease and vaccines are the only way to protect yourself against it. Hearing this lifesaving message from people their own age will really help to raise awareness and vaccine uptake.”
Following the South West Finals, the winner will proceed to the National Finals and from there, the winner goes to the International Finals which are taking place in Serbia in July.
For more information visit the TIME website at www.timemeningitis.co.uk.