We've had a fantastic story from one of our volunteers, Damion Krska, in South Yorkshire. While visiting his local GP surgery, Damion got chatting to the practice manager about how the surgery could promote awareness of meningitis. Following this, Damion was invited to a meeting with their PPG, where he spoke about his experience, Meningitis Now, and his role as a volunteer.
As a result, plans were put into place to put signs and symptoms cards into their baby clinics and throughout the surgery. Damion also met Iris at the PPG, who was so moved that she took it upon herself to raise awareness and distribute signs and symptoms cards across the wider community to primary schools, libraries, pharmacies, toddler groups and the hospital A&E.
Damion's story is a great example of how just one conversation can make such a big impact and have a knock-on effect of inspiring others. Thank you, Damion, for sowing the seed.
- Supporter Claire Croft organised an awareness and fundraising evening in Seaton, Cornwall. Young Ambassador Jasmine Beer and her mother Yvette joined forces with Claire at Waves Bar where Jasmine gave a talk about her personal experience of meningitis: a great example of collaborative working! Thank you all.
- As part of our involvement with the exciting new Teenage Carriage Study campaign Ambassador Sophia Brzeskwinski spoke to students at Sutton High School. Recently recruited volunteer, Anne Peters, spoke at a school in Oxford. A special thank you goes to both Anne and Sophia; Anne for getting stuck in to helping with a talk barely a week into becoming a volunteer and Sophia for helping out with less than 24 hours’ notice and rushing from an interview to do so!
- Community Ambassador Alison Walker collected a cheque for £200 raised by the Cheltenham American Square Dance Club. The club were delighted that Alison could come along and help to make their presentation so special. They have even invited her to join them should she ever fancy any square dancing herself!
- Thank you to Community Ambassador Lynette Adjei, who gave a talk at a charity night in Solihull organised by one of our 2018 London Marathon runners, Gary Wickett. The evening was a huge success, with fundraising totalling nearly £4,000.
- In Lincolnshire, ever-busy volunteers Marilyn and Tony Hines have taken their schools awareness to the next level. Keen to represent the voices of young people in an area where we are short of school-age volunteers, they have given talks to sixth form students showing video clips featuring stories of young people affected by meningitis. Their first talk at De Aston School in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire was a great success and the school has already booked them again for next year!
Teenage Carriage Study
As you will have seen we have recently been recruiting volunteers to help with a schools awareness programme. We can now reveal that this is part of an NHS campaign which asks teenagers across the UK to join the fight against meningitis by participating in the new TEAM (Teenagers Against Meningitis) research study.
Researchers from the Oxford Vaccine Group, based at the University of Oxford, are seeking to recruit 24,000 16 to 18-year olds, from across 14 towns and cities UK-wide, in a bid to understand whether vaccinating teenagers against Men B could reduce the risk of meningitis to the wider population.
The study will be recruiting over 18 months from April 2018, and we are still keen to hear from more volunteers who would be interested in helping promote the campaign in schools.
2018 - Looking ahead
Please keep sending in your volunteering pictures and stories too as we love to hear what you get up to when helping out and you can inspire others too! Perhaps we can feature you in next month's e-news?!
It’s coming up to events busy season and we appreciate any time you can give us to help out. Current opportunities include:
- Sainsbury's at Emerson's Green Bristol - they are supporting us as their store charity of the year and are planning a fundraising weekend from 31st May - 2nd June. Can you help with a bucket collection and awareness stand on one of these days or perhaps you have your own fundraising and awareness idea?
- Milton Keynes Half Marathon on Bank Holiday 7th May - join in the fun raising money and awareness.
- GWR May Mayhem on 18th May - raising money and awareness at stations up and down the Cheltenham to Paddington railway line.
- London 10k on Bank Holiday Monday 28th May - helping and cheering on our runners.
If you have time to lend a hand, please give us a ring on 01453 768 000 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and get involved.