A total of thirteen families representing the full range of meningitis experiences gathered in the grounds of the spectacular Alnwick Castle for the specially themed Harry Potter day – complete with broomstick lessons, magic tricks, and even some chocolate frogs.
The families also took part in a range of activities laid on for them by castle staff, including dressing up in medieval costume, wand-making, storming the castle gates and being entertained by a couple of jesters. They were also able to tour the castle’s state rooms and make full use of all the amazing facilities in the beautiful grounds.
And of course, with so much going on, it was important to make sure everyone was kept well fed - so the day included an endless flow of food, hot drinks, and lots and lots of cake!
Meningitis Now staff were on hand to keep everyone happy, speak to them about their meningitis experiences, help entertain the children with Lego and playdoh, guide them towards the cake, and generally make sure everyone had a brilliant experience. This included our Community Support Officer for the North Chris Mathers – who had done a fantastic job of organising the day.
One of the other staff members was our Individual Giving Manager Megan Thompson, who said it was an absolute joy to see how much the children enjoyed the day.
“It was lovely to see the youngsters running around at the end of the day with their new friends,” she said. “I can’t imagine where they got their energy from – although I suspect cake might have had something to do with it. But it was equally lovely to see some of their parents bonding over their meningitis experiences and several of them commented to us how much they appreciated being in a space where everyone understood them. Feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive – one parent even told us their son had had ‘the best day of their life’. We really hope everyone got something from the day – whether it was time to spend precious moments with their families, meeting others with a similar meningitis experience to themselves, finding out about our support services – or just getting the chance to meet Harry Potter!"
Find out about our support events.
Read another account of the day, written by one of the participants.