Volunteering news July 2019

29th July 2019

Read the latest update from our Volunteering team for the month

Volunteer newsletter July 2019

Each year, we work hard to raise awareness of meningitis with students and young people. The next couple of months are our busiest time for this and we need your help! 

This year, we want to encourage students to check if they have been vaccinated against MenACWY. The message on our new student poster is, 'Check it, don't chance it.' 

Even if they have had this vaccine, we want them to know they still have to be aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis as there are other strains like MenB they may not be protected against. We'll be encouraging them to not only take care of themselves, but also be aware of their friends if they seem to be struck down with 'freshers' flu'...

How can you help us?

  • If there is a local uni where you would like to raise awareness, let us know at volunteering@meningitisnow.org and we will try to get something set up so you can go along.
  • If you have made your own arrangements to run an awareness stand at a local uni, let us know and order a pack of special materials to take along. Please allow at least two weeks before the big day. 
  • Keep an eye on your emails! From time to time we receive requests directly from universities to go along to their wellbeing or freshers fairs. If they are in your area, we will be in touch by email and on Facebook to see if you are free to help out.

Any questions? Feel free to call us on 01453 768 000. Help us make 2019 a successful year, saving lives through raising awareness.

Can you volunteer at our Five Valleys Walk

Our iconic 21 mile Five Valleys Walk takes place on Sunday 29 September in Gloucestershire. This flagship annual event has been running for over 30 years, and is organised and run entirely by Meningitis Now. We need lots of volunteers to help make it a fantastic success! Can you help us set up, run a checkpoint, help pre-registered walkers or register walkers on the day? We need volunteers to do either a morning shift from 07:15 to 12:45, or an afternoon shift from 12:30 to 18:00. The walk takes place in stunning scenery, and you'll be joining a warm and friendly team for a really great day out.

Volunteer round-up

Ian Watkinson and Damion and Julie Kryska ran a stand for us at the two day National Student health conference at the University of Sheffield, where they talked to staff who work in student health.

Alicia Stephenson set up an awareness stand for us at Milton Meon FC in Hampshire. This is an annual event set up 10 years ago by Elliott, after he lost his father to meningitis.

New volunteer Hayley Falzone got off to a fantastic start, setting up an awareness stand at 5:50am at the Gosfield triathlon in Essex. Hayley said she really enjoyed the day (and her free bacon butty!) and is very keen to do more.  

Lynette Adjei went along to the National Citizenship Service programme in Pershore and gave two talks about Meningitis Now to around 120 interested and engaged young people, looking for a charity to support over the summer with a social action project. 

Angela Cloke has become well known for her powerful and moving talks and this month gave one to Brailes Women's Institute in Warwickshire. Their spokeswoman said, "In my eight years as a WI member, I can honestly say I think this was the best speaker we've ever heard... Angela gripped everyone's attention and we went home better informed."

Alison and Isa Walker spent a sunny evening in Cheltenham, supporting a summer event for all UCAS staff and family members. UCAS is fundraising for us for the next few months as various staff members have experience of meningitis. 

Alethea Lewis went along to St Edmund's prep school in Hertfordshire last year to talk to the pupils about us. She was very pleased to, be invited back earlier this month, to accept a cheque for the money the children had raised. Alethea said “The assembly was beautiful. I got emotional collecting the cheque. The kids were very excited, it was so lovely.” 

Huw Westwood and Louise Greer went to Radyr Comp School in Cardiff for us at short notice, to accept a cheque for £200. A Year 8 student had been inspired to raise money after her 6 year old brother Noah had meningitis.  

Laura Kennedy went to a school assembly at Thomas Aveling School in Rochester to accept a cheque for almost £1,000. Laura really enjoyed the experience and is keen to do more. 

Our Young Ambassador Johari Adjei had a wonderful afternoon at Willows Centre in Birmingham, where she ran an awareness stand for us. Johari also recently had the amazing news that she has been awarded a First Class honours degree in History from Cambridge University. Huge congratulations Johari!

A heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you! Meningitis Now simply couldn't make the impact it does without all of your tireless efforts.

New volunteers

Two new volunteers joined us this month; Hayley Falzone from Essex, and Maris Doberman from London. A very warm welcome to both of you!

Join us on Facebook

Do you know we have a Facebook page that's just for our registered Meningitis Now Volunteers and Ambassadors? If you don't yet have access to it just let us know - we'd love to add you as a member so you can see what our volunteers are up to. Join our registered Volunteer Facebook page.

Volunteering opportunities

Join the team! Cheer on our riders, runners and walkers!

  • Great North Run 2019 - Sunday 8 September, Newcastle Upon Tyne 
  • Five Valleys Walk 2019 - Meningitis Now's flagship event - Sunday 29 September, Stroud area
  • 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 in Pershore, Worcestershire on Thursdays 25 July, and 8 and 15 August. 
  • Slough Fire Station is having a charity car wash on Saturday 27 July. Ben Martin Stone is a fireman organising the car wash in memory of Freya, his granddaughter who died of meningitis last year, aged 3. We're still looking for volunteers to go along and help out with an awareness stand, general mingling and chatting and helping out the firefighters! If this sounds like your sort of event please get in touch as we'd love to help them out.  

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

  • Drop us a line on 01453 658 000 when you are raising awareness.
  • Ask the Volunteer Team for help and resources to support your activities.
  • Send us your photos and stories at volunteering@meningitisnow.org - 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