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Our history and achievements

From local support group, to national charity, we are proud of everything we have achieved in our 30 years

Meningitis Now fundraising - Bucket Collection

We have been involved in the development and introduction of meningitis vaccines, saved lives through awareness and helped people rebuild their lives after meningitis with our free specialised support.

Our milestones:

  • 1982 - Following the death of their son, Spencer, Steve and Gloria Dayman formed the Meningitis Research Appeal - the first meningitis group in the UK, raising funds for research
  • 1985 - In Stroud and Stonehouse (Gloucestershire, UK) families were coming together, including Jane Wells (our Founder Patron). The Stroud Meningitis Support Group was formed
  • 1986 - The Meningitis Trust was registered as the first meningitis charity in the UK after the two support groups came together
  • 1988 - The charity funds its first big research project. This research plays a major part in the development and introduction of the Hib vaccine in 1992
  • 1990 - Launch of 24-hour Meningitis Helpline, which has now taken over one million calls. Financial Grants Service was launched. Over £2million has been spent to date, helping people to rebuild their lives
  • 1992 - First major vaccine against meningitis was introduced, supported by the charity. The vaccine has resulted in significant reduction of the Hib strain of bacterial meningitis
  • 1993 - Symptoms cards introduced – over 22 million distributed since then
  • 1998 - Nurses recruited to man Meningitis Helpline 24 hours
  • 1999 - Meningococcal C vaccine introduced, supported by the charity. Spencer Dayman Laboratories registered as a charity to fund a £500,000 state-of-the-art dedicated meningitis research laboratory in the University of Bristol's School of Medical Sciences. Launch of professional counselling service across the UK
  • 2001 - Fridge magnets with symptoms information introduced
  • 2002 - Launch of home visiting service across the UK
  • 2003 - HRH Countess of Wessex and the Archbishop of Canterbury (now Lord Williams of Oystermouth) become Patrons
  • 2006 - 7-valent Pneumococcal vaccine introduced
  • 2007 - £7million Search for a Vaccine campaign was launched to raise vital funds for preventative research. Memorial Rose Garden opens in Stroud Park to commemorate 21st anniversary. Family Day service launched with over 1,300 children and adults benefiting since it started
  • 2008 - First Friends Day held and families visited the Spencer Dayman Research Laboratories. The charity commissioned unique research to ascertain the true impact of meningococcal B strain of the disease (Meningococcal Outcomes Study in Adolescents and In Children, known as MOSAIC)
  • 2009 - Meningitis UK Memorial Woodlands and Meningitis Trust Tribute Garden opened, remembering those who have lost their lives to meningitis. Art Therapy launched across the UK. First Meningitis After-Effects conference and first Vaccine Forum held
  • 2010 - 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine introduced, giving greater protection. World’s first meningitis app for the iPhone launched - free to download
  • 2011 - Partnerships programme launched with Child Brain Injury Trust, National Deaf Children’s Society, Auditory Verbal UK and St John Ambulance being amongst the first national partners. Following the findings of the MOSAIC research, the charity launched its Education Campaign, highlighting the impact of meningitis on learning, with a petition and a reception at the Houses of Parliament
  • 2012 - The charity, accompanied by supporters and its Ambassador Petra Stunt delivers its Education Petition to Downing Street. MOSAIC research findings are published in the Lancet Neurogology
  • 2013 - Meningococcal group B disease (MenB) vaccine (Bexsero) granted a licence by the European Commission. Beat it Now! campaign launched, calling for the introduction of the newly licensed MenB vaccine into the routine childhood immunisation programme. A survey done by the charity into after-effects of viral meningitis reveals 97% of those who contract the disease experience after-effects - this leads to the first ever Viral Meningitis Week. Meningitis Now launched following the merger of Meningitis UK and Meningitis Trust, creating the UK's biggest meningitis charity. Delivery of 20,000 signatures for the Beat It Now! campaign, delivered to Downing Street.
  • 2015 - MenB vaccine (Bexsero) introduced on the National Childhood Immunisation Programme in September for newborn babies, becoming the first country in the world to offer the revolutionary new vaccine via a national health service. To combat the rise in MenW cases in adolescents, all 17 and 18-year-olds and first year university students we offered the ACWY vaccine free, starting in August 2015. The ACWY vaccine now replaces the MenC booster offered to year 9 and 10 schoolchildren