Last month we caught up with Meningitis Now (MN) to learn more about their Young Futures fund. MN is the largest charity in the UK that offers support, funds research and raises awareness of this deadly disease.
The Young Futures Fund provides emergency financial support for children and young people, who have faced further challenges during the current coronavirus pandemic. The scheme has been greatly welcomed and they have now awarded over 40 items for children and young people – ranging from laptops, tablets and printers, to play equipment, sensory items and books. With more awards due to be given out over the coming months, this scheme is making a difference to young people at a key point in their lives.
We also wanted to find out how MN are coping in these exceptional times. Here is what they had to say:
How are you supporting families during the pandemic?
- Our Nurse-led Helpline (0808 80 10 388, firstname.lastname@example.org) remains open and available to anyone affected by or concerned at meningitis.
- Our Community Support Team can provide 1-1 support over the phone, email, video chat and social media
- We have a range of supportive literature and factsheets about meningitis, vaccines and the different after effects that meningitis can cause https://www.meningitisnow.org/how-we-help/resources/
- Our online peer support pages offer an interactive and supportive virtual meningitis community https://www.meningitisnow.org/how-we-help/peer-support/
- Our website continues to be an excellent source of information meningitisnow.org
How has your service adapted at this time?
- All of our support is being provided remotely as home visits and support events are not possible currently – all face to face activity has been postponed until next year.
- The COVID-19 Young Futures Fund has been funding items to support Young People’s learning, development and emotional health during this time. Our usual financial assistance programme for people of all ages affected by meningitis – the Rebuilding Futures Fund – will resume in October.
- We have written a number of blogs about COVID-19 and meningitis – helping to answer questions that people may have. These are available on our website (https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/news-centre/news-stories/)
- We are planning some online support events, piloting in September. The first two will be about Emotional Wellbeing and Returning to School.
How is COVID-19 affecting you financially?
- The financial impact on our charity will be stark. We anticipate that over half of our annual income is at risk – that’s a loss of over £1.3 million. This is a consequence of major disruption to our Events, Community, Individual Giving and Corporate Fundraising due to COVID-19, lockdown and social distancing.
- This week will see the launch of our ‘Biggest Challenge’ campaign, which is calling on our meningitis community to help us through our biggest challenge and help us to stay in the fight against meningitis (https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/donate/donate-biggest-challenge). We are asking people to make a donation, carry out fundraising and encourage their family, friends and colleagues to get involved too. The campaign will run over the next few months with regular new fundraising ideas – such as Jog on Meningitis
What can we do to help you?
Meningitis Now is here to ensure that no one faces meningitis alone. If you have been affected by meningitis, whether recently or some time ago, and would like to talk to someone, please contact the Meningitis Now Helpline or get in touch via social media. Meningitis Now can also provide information about meningitis symptoms and vaccines: