Saving lives and rebuilding futures
Meningitis is a life-threatening illness that can kill within hours. Facing it alone is scary. The Worshipful Company of Butchers is pleased to welcome Meningitis Now as a new long-term charity partner so we can help raise funds and awareness, while providing support in a variety of ways through the time and effort given by Liverymen.
Meningitis is indiscriminate; it can affect anyone, of any age. However, children under five are most at risk followed by teenagers and young adults. Vaccines are the only way to prevent meningitis.
Without vaccines to protect against all types there continues to be 8,000 cases of meningitis in the UK each year.
The impact of the disease can be devastating. 1 in 10 people who contract bacterial meningitis will die. Of those that survive, 1 in 3 can be left with lifelong problems, such as hearing and sight loss, acquired brain injury, epilepsy and mental health issues. Meningitis and blood poisoning frequently occur together as they can be caused by the same bacteria. Survivors often need to have limbs amputated as a result of blood poisoning.
The daily physical and emotional after-effects can change lives dramatically and people need support to rebuild positive futures. Meningitis Now is here to ensure no-one will face meningitis alone. With over 30 years' of experience, the charity offers an unrivalled range of information and support services. They are here to provide emotional, practical and financial support for everyone in the UK who has been affected by meningitis, completely free of charge. They also fund medical research and raise awareness of the disease, with the goal of saving lives.
Meningitis Now’s vision is simple - a future where no-one loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected by the disease gets the support they need to rebuild their lives. From humble origins in 1986 as a Parent Support Group and the first charity to address meningitis, Meningitis Now has gone on to become a national leading voice in the fight against meningitis. Their work depends on donations and they need to raise £3 million each year.
A personal connection to the Livery
Liveryman Rod Adlington lost his son Barney to meningitis in 2005. Since then Rod and his family have been passionate supporters of Meningitis Now through fundraising and awareness raising. Rod is a Trustee at Meningitis Now and his eldest son Toby is a Young Ambassador for the charity.
Meningitis Now has been very important to my family. I have always been impressed with how the charity operates: professionalism goes hand-in-hand with its down-to-earth and caring ethos, staying true to its humble beginnings. The charity is doing some amazing work in supporting people to rebuild their lives after meningitis and I see many opportunities for the Worshipful Company of Butchers to support this brilliant charity. Together we can save lives and rebuild futures.
How are we helping?
The Worshipful Company of Butchers are helping to fund the Meningitis Now ‘Rebuilding Futures Fund,’ which aims to ease the financial and practical burdens that meningitis leaves behind.
The Rebuilding Futures Fund pays for items and services that help enable people to start to rebuild their lives, to take control, to face the future with hope and confidence, to have a better quality of life.
Some examples include specialist equipment, rehabilitation costs, IT equipment, sensory items, training, physical therapy, counselling, creative therapies for children, home adaptations, travel costs associated with medical appointments and funeral expenses. The programme is open to people of all ages affected by meningitis in the UK.
One person who has benefitted recently is Taylor. Taylor contracted meningitis when he was just eight months old. His mum Terri, then just 22, watched helplessly as doctors gave her son just hours to live. Thankfully Taylor did survive, but he needed his fingers and thumbs amputated and both legs through the knee. Taylor's kidneys also failed and he was left on dialysis.
Taylor is now five years old. The Rebuilding Futures Fund recently funded artificial grass to make their garden safe for Taylor to play in. His mum says: "We moved to a disabled bungalow and the house is perfect for Taylor’s needs. But the garden was unsafe and not usable. Taylor loves being outside and before we could use the garden I’d take him to the park, but stares and comments from others because of his prosthetics were getting him down.
"So having a garden he can escape to is his dream come true and I’m so glad I don’t have to say 'no' any longer when he asks to go outside – I used to hate that! The artificial grass is perfect for Taylor’s legs as they are so sensitive and can break down. It means Taylor can get back to doing what he enjoys best, which is being an outdoor boy."
Over the coming three years, the Worshipful Company of Butchers will be helping more families like Taylor’s through their support of Meningitis Now.
Meningitis Now wants everyone in the UK to know the signs and symptoms of meningitis and that rapid treatment helps save lives. The Worshipful Company of Butchers can help achieve this goal in the following ways:
- Have a dispenser of wallet-size meningitis signs and symptoms cards in your place of work, for staff and customers.
- Display meningitis signs and symptoms posters at your place of work.
- Invite a Meningitis Now representative to your place of work to give a talk to staff about what meningitis is and the signs and symptoms to watch for.
- Put up awareness posters in your local area – community centres, GP surgery, hospitals, schools.
- Follow Meningitis Now on social media and share their awareness content to help them reach as many people as possible with their awareness messages.
- Do you have links with a university or childcare nursery? Encourage them to sign up to the Meningitis Now bespoke scheme – the Meningitis Aware Recognition Mark [link to https://www.meningitisnow.org/meningitis-explained/marm/] – and help protect these two high-risk age groups.
- Do you work with a young apprentice? Let them know that there is a free ‘MenACWY’ meningitis vaccine. Ask them to check if they had the vaccine at school. If they are under 25 and were born on or after 1 September 1996, but didn’t get the vaccine at school, they can still get it for free at their GP surgery. Encourage them to get vaccinated; It could save their life.