One of the UK’s largest trade unions has united with the country’s biggest meningitis charity to fight the deadly disease.
UNISON president Lucia McKeever has named Meningitis Now as her President’s Charity, after losing her son Conor to the disease and seeing its ongoing work in her native Northern Ireland.
She said: “Our eldest boy Conor died of meningitis 25 years ago. Meningitis Now really helped me and my family then and I’ve supported them since. I’m pleased to work with them as my President’s Charity.”
The unity, which encourages UNISON’s 1.3 million-plus members, their families and friends, and union conferences and events to fundraise and raise awareness, runs until June.
Mrs McKeever said: “Meningitis Now puts people at the heart of everything they do – just like UNISON. Our members are caring, dedicated people who will be inspired by the charity’s work and support it".
A target, to help the charity fund preventative research, raise awareness and support people, has been set.
The organisations will also co-produce a short educational film series for audiences including health workers, teaching assistants and early years’ staff.
Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman, who launched the UK’s meningitis movement after losing his baby son Spencer to the disease in 1982, said: “We’re delighted to work with members across the UK to make a significant difference. Our vision is a world where no one dies of meningitis. Partnerships like this hugely benefit our work to help bring that day closer.”