Volunteering news April 2019

26th April 2019

Read the latest update from our Volunteering team for April

Volunteer newsletter April blog

World Meningitis Day 2019 - what's it all about?

World Meningitis Day takes place on 24 April every year. It is organised by the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) and is a day when meningitis organisations of all sizes world-wide join together in raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

This year's theme was #aftermeningitis and highlighted the challenges and bravery of meningitis survivors, as well as those who have lost a loved one to the disease. 

Did you take up Damion Krska's volunteering challenge - to give out 24 awareness cards in 24 hours on 24 April? It's not too late to do it now! Did you do something else? Let us know how you got on and send in your stories and pictures. 

Look out for our annual volunteer survey in your inbox

What can we do better? What do we do well? How can we help you? Do you enjoy this newsletter? These are just a few of the questions we would like you to answer in the volunteer survey, which will be coming out to our registered volunteers by email next Monday, 29 April.

Completing the survey will take no more than 10 minutes of your time so please do make time to do it next week.  The survey will be completely anonymous to encourage you to give your constructive and open feedback.

We want to give you the best possible volunteer experience, so please, help us to help you!

Volunteer round-up

Huddersfield: A group of volunteers and ambassadors met in Huddersfield on 19 March, where they talked about what volunteering means to them and what their volunteering goals are over the coming year.

The evening began with everyone getting to know each other and Ian Watkinson and Charlotte Hannibal telling their meningitis stories.

Everyone enjoyed the evening and went away with plenty to think about for their future volunteering plans.

If you would like a copy of our notes on creating an awareness stand and a pack of awareness stand materials, drop us a line, and we will get them off to you.

If you have run your own stand, send in your pictures and story or share it on our Facebook page!

Ian Watkinson: Ian has had a busy month with a visit to Wakefield and Kirklees Infection Control Team. Annabel Rich and Clare Smith from the team got together with Ian and ran meningitis awareness stands in the main shopping centres in both Wakefield and Huddersfield and have plans for more of the same in May in celebration of World Meningitis Day.

Jonathan Davies: Jonathan went along to speak to Haverhill Rugby Club at a fundraising evening. He said, "They were lovely hosts and it was a great event to go to with typically sober and conservative behaviour from the rugby club members, or maybe not... but they had a great time and seemed to raise a fair amount."

Graeme and Gail Burridge had a visit from celebrities to their St George's Day parade awareness stall in Whitton - The Stig and Mickey Mouse!

Lynette Adjei ran a great awareness session for 12 foster carers at South East Birmingham Foster Carer Buddy Group. Chris Sillett went along and talked to about 70 members of the Marine Bowls Club in West Worthing. Diane Kelly ran an awareness stand at her local Boots the Chemist in Northampton.

Val Stephenson has been busy ironing on letters again, this time for the Lake District 8 Peak Challenge.

What a busy month it has been! Thank you all so very much for all  your efforts. Keep telling us all about what you are doing and let us know what you need to make it happen. 

Volunteering opportunities - can you help?

There's still time to join the team and cheer on our runners and riders!

Or, later in the year:

New opportunities this month:

  • National Citizen Service Summer Programme Talks - The NCS young people's summer programme is taking place through July and August. We have filled some dates and are still looking for volunteers to go along and talk to the young people about meningitis on Thursdays 25 July, and 8 and 15 August. 
  • Ipswich Aquathlon and Gosfield Triathlon - We are looking for volunteers to take car parking receipts and run awareness stands at both of these events. Ipswich is on Saturday 18 May and Gosfield is Sunday 7 July.

Keep in touch - we love to hear what you are doing! 

  • Drop us a line when you are raising awareness.
  • Ask the Volunteer Team when you need resources to support your activities.
  • Please send us your photos and stories - we love receiving them!
  • Count your preparation and travel time when you let us know your hours.
  • Share your volunteering pictures, stories and ideas and virtually meet other ambassadors and volunteers on our Facebook group too.

  • Meningitis after-effects - deaf dancer Chris Fonseca blog

    Dancing to the rhythm

    Seeing Chris Fonseca on BBC1’s The Greatest Dancer was so inspiring. It was great to see the profile of meningitis and deafness being raised

  • Meningitis Now Ambassador Lynette MBE blog

    Lynette awarded MBE

    Congratulations to our Community Ambassador Lynette Adjei, who was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List

  • Meningitis amputee Young Ambassador Lyndon Longhorne

    Inspired by sport

    As long as you get stronger and better at the task you are performing then you know that you have achieved something in yourself

  • Water bottles donated to Meningitis Now blog

    Gotta lotta bottle

    It’s proving a real bonus and talking point for us having these bottles for our supporters at our events