Thirty years ago, following an outbreak of meningitis in Stroud & Stonehouse in Gloucestershire, a group of parents came together to fight back against this devastating disease. Their aim was to increase public awareness of meningitis and the signs and symptoms, fund research into a vaccine that would save lives, and provide support and information to those who had been affected.
Three decades on, we have:
- Saved lives by funding vaccine research and supporting the introduction of 5 vaccines – HiB, pneumococcal, meningococcal C, ACWY and meningococcal B – the last of which we campaigned for over 2 years to secure its introduction
- Saved lives through raising awareness and educating health professionals
- Helped thousands of individuals and their families rebuild their lives after meningitis with our unique range of support for anyone affected, whatever the outcome
Despite our successes, meningitis remains a real and present threat as there are not vaccines for all forms and there are still thousands of new cases every year of viral and bacterial meningitis. There are over 500,000 people in the UK who have had meningitis, impacting them and their families. And there are thousands of people who have lost a loved one.
This year we are aiming to raise new funds to help us address complacency around the need to stay vigilant to ensure rapid diagnosis, support high vaccine uptake especially in young people, and to increase knowledge and understanding of the impact of the disease so everyone gets timely information and support.