Charity Blog: Meningitis Research UK – Part 2
This addition of my Charity Blog is slightly different to the others as I am answering the questions myself, about Meningitis Research Foundation, a charity I am heavily involved with. Hopefully, this will help raise awareness of all that has been achieved so far and help to develop the further the aims of the charity.
1. What is your role within Meningitis Research Foundation?
I am a be-friender supporting families affected by meningitis whilst either in hospital, during the period of rehabilitation, or following bereavement.
I am also an ambassador for the charity, helping to raise awareness specifically in the South West of the disease.
2. To start us off, please can you let us know a little about how the charity was founded and your motivation?
have followed the vital work of the Meningitis Research Foundation for many years, after I came very close to losing a family member to the disease and resulting in lifelong injuries.
The aim of the charity in seeking a world free from meningitis and septicaemia means that this vital work will ultimately mean that other families will not be affected by this aggressive, life threatening and life changing disease.
3. What is your role within the charity, how long have you been doing it, and what does an average day look like for you?
I work full time in the Medical Negligence Department at Wolferstans Solicitors, however outside of working hours I support the Meningitis Research Foundation by visiting nurseries and schools to help to spread the word of both the need for vaccinations, and how to spot the early signs of the disease.
Through the sponsorship at Wolferstans we have also launched a nursery initiative, hosting a ‘Walk with Wolfie’ going into nurseries with families to fundraise and raise awareness. This is a growing initiative.
I attend university open days to speak to students about vaccination and how to look out for each other, knowing the difference between a hangover or flu to the various strains of meningitis.
I am also mindful that I may be asked at any time by the charity to support families in critical situations following a diagnosis of meningitis in my role as a be-friender.
4. What are the main aims of the charity?
Meningitis Research Foundation have three goals: a. To see fewer people get meningitis and septicaemia; b. To see more people survive with a better quality of life and reduced disability; c. To have more engaged, informed and supported patients and communities.
The charity plays a key role in making this happen in the UK, Ireland and around the world by funding vital research, advocating for change as a dedicated champion for those it affects, and taking action that benefits people, including running awareness campaigns, training health professionals and providing support and information.
5. Is there a particular project or aim that you’d like to share with people or a focus over the next 12 months?
The charity as a whole, aims to continue to provide vital research into the causes of and cures for meningitis in the UK and across the globe.
Personally, I hope that I can continue to speak to nurseries, schools and universities, to raise awareness of Meningitis.
I hope that the nursery initiative and the Walk with Wolfie will continue to thrive. If any nurseries are interested in arranging a Walk with Wolfie please do get in touch.
6. What motivated you to do the job/role that you are doing now?
My motivation came from my personal experience, and hoping that until the rates of diagnosis are substantially reduced, from my own experience I can continue to support and understand the situations that other families are in.
From my work in the medical negligence department, I feel motivated to reduce the delay in diagnosis of all strains of meningitis in both children and adults, in particular, the life changing injuries seen after contracting bacterial meningitis and septicaemia.
7. It’s likely that somebody new to the services of the charity is reading this. What would you like to say to them?
If they are reading this and have been affected by meningitis, to get in touch if they need any support with life changing injuries or following the loss of a loved one.
The support offered by Meningitis Research Foundation is varied and we hope that we will be able to support anybody affected by this disease.
8. What are your specific hopes for the future in terms Meningitis Research Foundation?
It is clear that the Meningitis Research Foundation will not stop until they defeat meningitis and I hope that I can continue to support their aims. They will relentlessly seek answers, work tirelessly with purpose and are driven by those they help. Their dedication enables the best modern science, research and on-the-ground learning to work in the positive interests of individuals, families and communities impacted by meningitis and septicaemia, both here in the UK and in communities around the world.
9. Thank you so much for taking part in this interview series. Lastly, before we finish - Is there anything else about you, the charity or your job/role that you’d like to let people know about?
I would like anybody either in the South West or further afield to know that as a be-friender if support is required, I am here to help.
In my role as an ambassador, if any local companies, healthcare providers or educators would like more information or a bespoke presentation, my personal experience, how to fundraise for the charity, or general information on the disease or the Meningitis Research Foundation, to get in touch.