Warwickshire turkey farmer Rod Adlington is unsurprisingly a very busy man, particularly at a time of the year when his business puts 10,000 birds on the tables of families across the UK.
Now celebrating its 60th year in business, Rod represents the third generation of his family to rear award-winning poultry, and runs his business from his farm near Coventry.
But alongside this Rod has committed himself to a cause very close to his heart; single-mindedly raising an incredible £115,000 for Meningitis Now, in memory of his son Barney, who tragically died from meningitis in 2005.
A year after his young son’s death from meningococcal (Men B) meningitis and septicaemia, Rod was approached by a farming colleague with the idea to hold a fundraising event so that the community could show their support.
The first ‘Barney’s Bash’, held a few months later was an unexpected success. Attended by several hundred local people and friends of the family, it raised £25,000.
Two subsequent events in 2007 and 2013 built on this winning formula of an informal yet thoroughly entertaining party and were even bigger and better.
To coordinate the latest and most ambitious event to date, Rod brought on board a skilled committee of friends and business people including the Beaty family, Olly Bertram and Duncan Nealon.
Held again in a barn, the event featured popular local bands, Adam Henson from BBC 1’s Countryfile, two bars and a fantastic array of entertainment including a full monty show as well a host of other ‘bonkers’ entertainment.
Attended by more than 1,200 people, they raised an impressive £60,000 for Meningitis Now making a significant impact on the fight against meningitis for many families similarly affected by the disease.
“For us it was so important to find the right balance between putting on an enjoyable evening for everyone with the need to keep costs low and raise as much as possible for the charity.
“We simply couldn’t do this without the commitment and generosity of our friends and family and my colleagues within the farming community, and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for their support.”
Watch out for the next version of Barneys Bash, coming soon!
Beth Bothrill, Director of Fundraising at Meningitis Now said:
“We cannot thank Rod enough for his fantastic support of the charity, and everything he has personally done to help raise awareness of the disease and to keep our vital services running.
“The commitment shown by Rod’s family, friends and the community is amazing, and embodies what really is important at this time of the year.”