This is because my god-daughter, Emily, died on New Year’s Day 2014, having fallen ill on the morning of New Year’s Eve. She was 19.
After speaking to Meningitis Now about holding a ‘Toddle Waddle’, I contacted our Parish Council, as I wanted to hold the event on their land, the local village green. They gave permission, but asked me to carry out a risk assessment and send this through to them prior to the day. I hired the Village Hall too.
As my son is a toddler, I knew lots of people to invite! Give yourself plenty of time to organise everything. Think about the time of day to hold it. Mine was in the morning, so perfect for the toddlers to have a snack/drink after their toddle. Also think how long you want the event to last (mine could have been shorter), how many children to invite and what sort of venue you could use. What to do if it rains? Need to arrange insurance too.
I did two group ‘toddles’ which worked very well, as the children were able to come along and make up their starfish/shark/crab hats to wear or flags to wave beforehand. Meningitis Now provided lots of help and support and have loads of different activity downloads to use, so I had a craft table set up and a table for decorating fish shaped biscuits – messy, but fun! A face painter came along too (a friend’s sister!) The children loved the certificate they received after they had completed their challenge and had a sticker too.
Ask friends and family to help out and give them jobs to do on the day. Use their various skills, for example, two friends were able to be designated first aiders (not that we needed them!) but that was another area covered. Another friend produced fantastic fish themed cakes along with tea/coffee for the adults from their lovely 1950s caravan, Lola May. This was a great help too. If taking any photos of the children you do need to get signed permission from their parents. I also ran a raffle, which you need wording for and a list of the prizes.
Everyone had lots of fun on the day, ate masses of cake and I was able to raise awareness of Meningitis and its symptoms and make people aware of its suddenness.