Could you become a meningitis champ?

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The Meningitis Trust, a charity which helps 20,000 people a year, is calling for people in the community to join its fight against meningitis by becoming Meningitis Champions; helping to spread the word about meningitis and change victims’ lives for the better.

The initiative was launched at the House of Commons in front of an audience of MPs, health and teaching professionals, celebrity ambassadors and families affected by the disease. It forms part of the charity’s Meningitis Changes Futures campaign, which highlights the true, and often hidden, impact of the disease.

Celebrity Meningitis Trust Ambassador, Lisa Snowdon, said at the launch: “After having meningitis myself, I know what a misunderstood disease it is; people think you either live or die. That’s why I am backing the campaign, highlighting the true impact of the disease. I am passionate about putting the disease on the radar, so that everyone understands and appreciates the life-changing after-effects it can leave people with. I know that together we can create brighter futures for people facing the aftermath of meningitis – join us in the battle against meningitis.”

Meningitis champions will help raise the profile of meningitis issues and change people’s lives. At a time of year when cases of bacterial meningitis (the deadly type) rise, their support will be more important than ever. Support can be given in many ways, such as:

Writing to your MP

Downloading the Trust’s awareness posters and putting up in your community

Nominating the Trust as the charity of the year where you work / at your child’s school

Sharing your story on Health Unlocked

Spreading the word about the Trust to family, friends, colleagues and neighbours

Holding a bucket collection

Victims of meningitis are at the heart of what the Trust does. In July, as part of the Meningitis Changes Futures campaign, the charity took a petition to Downing Street with 14,000 signatures asking for children to get the support they need in school to be able to reach their full potential. There’s still so much to do, but it needs your help. The Trust is committed to supporting everyone affected by meningitis, providing a lifeline to 20,000 people a year who otherwise would have nowhere else to turn. An important part of this is listening and responding to their needs and ensuring that they are given a voice.

Andy Hopkins

Meningitis Trust

Find time to

volunteer

As Trustee’s Week begins I would like to encourage your readers to become trustees of local charities. Trustees play an important role in the overall management of charities and offer strategic direction.

As the Chairman of the volunteering and learning charity CSV, I have seen first hand how expertise in management, finance and marketing can help a charity thrive.

Charities are not the only ones to benefit. As a trustee you can develop your own career, help to fill a skills gap as well as make a valuable contribution to society.

If you have professional skills to offer, for example in finance, fundraising, or strategic management, or if you have a personal interest in a particular charity, then get in touch with CSV. We can match your skills to a charity in your local area. Visit www.csv.org.uk/professionals for more information.

Sir Jon Shortridge

Chairman at CSV