Over 100 individuals are now being remembered with a Meningitis Trust Tribute Fund in their name. Established in July 2007, the Tribute Funds were set up to help those who have lost a loved one to meningitis to do something positive to honour their memory.
Tanya Wagerfield of Thame, Oxfordshire, set up two Tribute Funds following the death of her grandmother, Olive Lizzie Pearce, in 2006. Both Olive and her brother Kenneth Briscoe Pearce suffered meningitis as children and while Olive lived to celebrate her 90th birthday before suffering heart failure, Kenneth died just after his sixth birthday in 1918.
“I was very close to my Grandmother and I think she would be delighted that I have chosen to remember both her and my Great Uncle in this way. She ensured that Kenneth was never forgotten and I still visit the crematorium and chapel where he was buried.
“Our family is very aware of the dangers of meningitis and thankfully when my niece contracted it in 1998 we spotted it early and she has since made a full recovery,” said Tanya Wagerfield.
A permanent Tribute Fund in a loved one’s name can be a positive focus for a family following bereavement. Any money already donated to the Meningitis Trust can be used to start the fund and family and friends can then contribute in any way, whether they choose to make a single donation on a special occasion or significant date, or arrange a fundraising event.
All money raised in a loved one’s name will help the Meningitis Trust provide quality care and support for those affected by the disease. If they wish, the name of their loved one can also be added to the Trust’s remembrance book. When a fund raises over £500 a Meningitis Trust tribute rose is sent to plant as a further memorial for their loved one.
Commenting on reaching the 100th fund landmark, Tribute Funds Manager, Doug Edwards, said: “Setting up a Tribute Fund is a very personal decision, but those who have set them up find it a very positive way to keep the name of their loved one alive and also a way to help deal with their tragic loss. Reaching 100 Tribute Funds so quickly, and much sooner than expected, is perhaps an indication of just how welcome people have found them as a way to do something positive to honour their memory.
“Our support of families who have been affected by meningitis is a very personal one, the Tribute Funds is just another way we can continue that relationship and be there for as long as we are needed,” he concluded.
A recent survey commissioned by the Meningitis Trust suggests that up to 10 million people in the UK know a relative, friend, work colleague, or someone from their community who has contracted some form of meningitis. The after-effects of meningitis can range from the loss of a limb to less visible changes, such as loss of hearing, behavioural problems, relationship difficulties or a complete change of lifestyle.
Tribute Funds are simple to set up and families who would like more information can request a starter pack from Doug Edwards, Tribute Funds Manager on 01453 769082 or by email: [email protected]
Notes to the editor
For more information please contact:
Kelly Archer, Communications Officer at the Meningitis Trust on 01453 768006 or email [email protected]
About the Meningitis Trust
As many as 500,000 people living in the UK today have had either viral or bacterial meningitis. And up to 10 million adults in the UK – one adult in every four – knows of someone who has had the disease. The Meningitis Trust, a registered charity, helps and supports everyone struggling to cope with the impact of meningitis through the following free services:
* a 24-hour helpline manned by nurses – 0800 028 18 28
* professional counselling
* home visiting
* financial grants to fund special equipment; respite care; therapeutic activities; special training; travel and accommodation costs.
The Meningitis Trust is a registered charity which relies on donations for 99% of its income.
Meningitis is life-threatening and affects the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis and associated septicaemia (blood poisoning) can kill within hours and can affect anyone at any time. Those most at risk are children under the age of five, teenagers and young adults, and people over 55.
Symptoms commonly include fever with cold hands and feet, vomiting, headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, joint or muscle pain, drowsiness, confusion, and, in babies, dislike of being handled, pale blotchy skin, unusual cry, and a blank staring expression. Both adults and children may have a rash (septicaemia) that doesn’t fade under pressure.
For more information visit the website