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Meningitis Now Community Ambassador Alison Walker

Alison Walker

- Community Ambassadors

I first encountered meningitis in July 2003 when my eight month old daughter, Hannah, contracted pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia.

She was being treated at Bristol Children’s Hospital, but after five days we had to take the devastating decision to withdraw her life support.

Two days later we got in touch with Meningitis Now; just to try and understand what it was that had taken our healthy, happy daughter away from us so quickly and brutally.

The charity has supported us in many different ways over the years, most practically by approving a financial grant to provide Hannah’s grave with a headstone, but also being around when we needed hope and inspiration, either for fundraising or just somebody to listen. I personally took up the offer of bereavement counselling, which eventually gave me the strength to accept and live around the loss of my daughter.

Sometimes it has been difficult to understand why I am still involved with the charity as it reminds me of the saddest, most desperate time of my life, but the desire to help other parents in similar situations and the ongoing fight to prevent meningitis in any form always wins through.

We have a tribute fund for Hannah, recording exactly how much money we have raised for this wonderful charity, but I strongly believe that volunteering your time is just as important. Over the years I have handed out awareness cards, ‘shaken’ buckets, helped Santa, accepted cheques, organised balloon races, carried bags for marathon runners, stuffed envelopes, counted piles of coins, stuck countless stickers on Five Valley Walk maps, shared my story with newspapers and magazines and even baked the odd cake.

I feel very honoured to be given the opportunity to help and encourage others to join me in doing any of the above in my new role as a Community Ambassador for Meningitis Now.