Volunteering news July 2018

24th July 2018

It's that time of year again, when our Volunteering team are revving up to get ready for the new wave of uni freshers embarking on the next stage of their lives

Volunteering news

For Meningitis Now, it means getting ready to spread the word at university freshers fairs and during our Meningitis Awareness Week in October.

Students are the second most at-risk group when it comes to contracting meningitis – every university in the UK may experience at least one case of meningitis amongst its students within the first term. There is a high risk of complacency or misconception that meningitis is not a risk for this year’s first year students, as most will have had the Men ACWY vaccine at school – however about 20% will not be vaccinated and very few will be vaccinated against Men B.

Our student awareness campaign aims to increase awareness of meningitis amongst first year students, their parents and universities and combat this risk.

You can help!

This year, with your help, we want to make it to 100 universities. If you would like to be a part of this campaign and help spread the key awareness messages at universities in your local area, please email us at volunteering@meningitisnow.org

Volunteer Round-up

Here's a taster of what our fab volunteers have been up to this month.

  • Ian Watkinson went along to a Community Dance Evening at Lightcliffe Academy, Halifax, in memory of a pupil who sadly passed away from meningitis. The families had chosen to raise money for 2 charities including Meningitis Now so Ian went along to tell them more about what we do
  • Angela Cloke went to speak to the Patient Participation Group at Trinity Court Surgery in Stratford-upon-Avon. Does your surgery have one? Perhaps they would welcome a visit too?
  • Young volunteer Olivia Sinha-Roy has been putting together student awareness sample packs at Head Office
  • New volunteer Sarina Shah has been busy raising awareness locally with health professionals, chemists and schools and is hoping to arrange some local supermarket collections
  • Anne and Aiden Cadden went along to the Student Health Association 70th Annual Conference in Liverpool, where there were representatives from 27 universities mainly from university GP practices

Thank you all for your contributions as well as everything everyone has been doing that we haven't heard about.


Welcome to new volunteers Stephie Colclough and Louise Rajkomar.

Keeping in touch

A reminder that you can share your volunteering pictures, stories and ideas and virtually meet other ambassadors and volunteers on our Facebook group. Let us know what you have been doing too and send in your hours, pictures and stories to volunteering@meningitisnow.org.

Current opportunities

  • Volunteers are needed on Sunday 29 July at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 bike race, to cheer and support our riders
  • Slough Fire Station Car Wash - Ben Martin Stone is organising a car wash on Saturday 11 August in memory of his granddaughter. We are looking for volunteers to walk around with collection buckets and to give out signs and symptoms cards
  • Frocester Beer Festival - We are looking for volunteers to help on either or both Friday 24 and Saturday 25 August at this fantastic beer and music festival in the Gloucestershire countryside. Take a look at their Facebook page or website for more info on who is playing and the event in general. Then, sign up to volunteer! You are welcome to stay all day if you sign up to help for at least 2 hours and there are also heavily discounted weekend tickets available to volunteers at a cost of only £10
  • The Simplyhealth Great North Run - We are looking for volunteers to cheer on our runners at this year's Great North Run, which takes place in Newcastle on Sunday 9 September. From the very beginning this event has been a celebration of what makes the North East great; thousands of supporters lining the course and hundreds of volunteers like you helping the dedicated and determined runners along the way. Can you make it a date this year? 
  • Brockworth Patient Participant Group (PPG) Health Event - On Thursday 13 September the Brockworth PPG is running a Health Event at Brockworth Community Centre in Gloucestershire, where we are looking for volunteers to run an awareness raising stand
  • Meningitis Now's Five Valleys Walk 2018 - We are looking for volunteers to register walkers and run checkpoints along this beautiful route, morning, afternoon or all day on Sunday 30 September. Visit our Five Valleys Walk page to find out more about our flagship event

Ongoing opportunities

  • Teenage Carriage Study - see April's Volunteering News or read our blog for more info. The study is running 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
  • Student Awareness Campaign 2018 - A UK-wide opportunity; we want to spread the message here, there and everywhere. Below is an initial list of areas where we would like to have a presence. If you would like to help in any of these areas, or anywhere in the UK, please let us know and we can let you have materials and briefing information
    Bath - Birmingham - Brighton - Bristol - Cardiff - Edinburgh - Exeter - Gloucestershire - Kent - Leeds - Leicester - Liverpool - Manchester - Nottingham - Newcastle - Oxford - Reading - Southampton - Warwick

  • Harmonie-Rose World Meningitis Day blog

    Listen and learn from Harmonie-Rose

    Harmonie-Rose is helping to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis on World Meningitis Day

  • Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman 30th Anniversary fundraising walk

    Still going strong at 70

    his year not only sees the 70th anniversary of the NHS, but also the 70th birthday of Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman

  • Harry raising awareness of meningitis blog

    When Harry met meningitis

    “I was very proud hearing him speak so eloquently about the meninges, what they are and what happens if they become inflamed"

  • Meningitis amputee Maisie tipped to win Paralympic gold

    The future's gold for Maisie

    8-year-old Maisie Catt, who lost her legs to meningitis, is being tipped to win Paralympic gold, weeks after taking up the martial art of taekwondo