Volunteering news September 2019

26th September 2019

Thank you to those of you who completed our first ever volunteer survey in June. It proved to be really useful and very positive

Meningitis Now Volunteering support and awareness newsletter - September 2019

Last year the most frequent activity by the 45 respondents was raising awareness locally; distributing signs and symptoms cards and posters or running awareness stands. 

A third of volunteers felt happy with their amount of volunteering, others reported personal circumstances had prevented them from volunteering as much as they hoped. Our message to you is that we do understand you all have busy lives and appreciate all your volunteering, no matter how much or little you do. 

Overall, volunteers were very happy with support from the Volunteer Team, with three-quarters finding us approachable and well informed, with very positive reception to our emails and this newsletter. The Facebook group was rated as interesting and informative by about half of respondents.

Overall ratings of volunteering for Meningitis Now were extremely positive, with nearly all respondents saying they enjoyed their volunteering and felt it made a difference. However, only half said they felt a part of the Meningitis Now community. To help address this, we plan to encourage you to volunteer with others as often as possible. We were also very happy to hear that almost everyone would recommend volunteering for Meningitis Now.

We always welcome your ideas and feedback. If you have any suggestions of how we could improve our support for you, the materials we give you or our communications, please do let us know!

Volunteer round-up

  • Laureen Mason handed out signs and symptoms cards and ran an awareness stand at a Haslemere Hounds event. The event raises money for charity by selling model animals painted by local artists and schools. Laureen enjoyed the evening and is keen to help out again. Thank you Laureen! One of the artists was our North East Community Fundraiser, Sarah Lockey's daughter Tilly.
  • Debbie Manning has been at Tesco in Stroud telling customers about our fantastic Five Valleys Walk which is only a couple of days away. Thank you Debbie.
  • Graeme Burridge went along to the National Fostering Agency Toddle Waddle to receive a cheque and give a talk. Thanks for helping out at short notice Graeme.
  • Thank you to Sacha Hannah, who went along to help out at the annual Frocester Beer Festival along with our Fundraising Manager, Leah Wynn
  • New volunteer Molly Bennett has been taking signs and symptoms cards and posters out to local GP surgeries in Surrey.
  • Gill Noble visited Sutton School and Hannah Nicholson went along to Wimbledon High School, where they talked to pupils about their meningitis experiences as part of the Teenage Carriage Study visit by the research team. These talks always encourage a high proportion of pupils to take part in the study, so thank you both. 

And more tins...

There have been more tins to pick up this month. Thank you to Maxine Scott-Harman and an extra special thank you to Kathy Thompson as it took a great deal of time and effort to get to that tin! 

Young People and Student Awareness campaign

It's well underway, with 12 student awareness raising events next week and eight the one after! 

  • Ian Watkinson spoke at Sheffield University Residence Life Mentors induction, where he raised awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis. Ian will be off to many other events over the next few weeks. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm Ian.
  • Yvette Beer ran her first awareness stand at South Devon College. New volunteers Ed Cook and Lucy Skoulding are helping out at their first awareness stands at Queen Mary's University of London where CA Mary Garley will show them the ropes. Thank you all.
  • Ginny Snaith went to Exeter Uni Freshers and had this to say: "All the Freshers had to queue past the stand to get their ID badges so I had lots of opportunity to talk to people about getting vaccines. Even better, there was also a Student Health Centre stand nearby so I was able to send anyone who hadn’t had a vaccine (or wasn’t sure) straight over to them to get registered and book an appointment – It couldn’t have gone better if planned." Thank you Ginny, that's fantastic to hear.
  • At Northampton College volunteers Ann Foster and Diane Kelly enjoyed meeting for the first time as they raised awareness with the students. Thank you both and thank you to Lauren Kelly who joined Diane at Booth Lane campus.

New volunteers

Welcome to our new volunteers, Bex Tolland and Tracey Thomson, both in Scotland.

Volunteer team news

We are very sad to let you know that Clemency Rubinstein will be leaving us in mid-October - she's done a fantastic job and been a wonderful member of the team.

However, we are pleased to let you know that Isobel and Jean will still be here to help, whenever you call!

Volunteering opportunities 2019 - Can you help?

Are you an early bird? - We are looking for volunteers to go along to Bristol Zoo on Saturday 28 September from 7.30am to help with putting signs and symptoms cards into the goody bags and raising awareness with zoo staff and their families at the Great Western Family Fun Day. Let us know if you can go along.

Donation Stations - GWR is supporting us this year with awareness and fundraising at their South Cotswold stations on Tuesday 22 October. We are looking for volunteers to help at Reading, Didcot, Bristol, Stroud, Stonehouse, Swindon and Kemble.

Cheltenham Races Bucket Collection - We are looking for volunteers to hold a bucket collection and talk to the public at Cheltenham Station on Friday 15 November. There will be morning and afternoon shifts so let us know if you can help out.

Young People and Student Awareness - email us at volunteering@meningitisnow.org to order a pack of 'Check it, don't chance it' posters to put up in your local area as the new university year begins.

  • Meningitis Now Remembrance Garden’s 10th anniversary

    Remembrance Garden's 10th anniversary

    100 guests recently joined us for the moving occasion, showcasing our garden as a warm, safe, sensitive and supportive space

  • Meningitis Now ambassador Seema Jaswal

    Seema backs young people campaign

    Sports presenter Seema Jaswal was just 16 when she contracted bacterial meningitis, which left her in a serious condition in hospital

  • Meningitis survivor Ellie Challis swimming in World Para Championships

    Swim star's top selection

    Meningitis survivor and Meningitis Now supporter Ellie Challis has been chosen to swim at the World Para Swimming Championships

  • Meningitis Now Celebrity Patron Joanna Trollope awarded CBE

    CBE for Joanna Trollope

    Congratulations to our Celebrity Patron, bestselling author Joanna Trollope, who has been made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List