Meningitis charity to hold free activity day

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Charity Meningitis Now is inviting families from West Sussex and neighbouring counties with an experience of the disease to join it for a free Family Day in September.

Registration for the all-day event, aimed at children up to age 16, is now open.

It takes place on Saturday September 10 at the Lodge Hill Activity Centre in Pulborough - an outdoor centre set in woodlands in the South Downs National Park.

Those coming along will have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities and find out more about the support available from the charity. Refreshments and lunch are also provided.

Susette Worgan-Brown, Information and Projects Co-ordinator for Meningitis Now, said: “Our Family Days are a great way for those affected by this devastating disease to join together, share their experiences and most importantly, have fun.

“Whether a child in your family has had meningitis or you as a parent or carer have been affected, we would like to invite you to join us and other families to relax and talk with people who understand what the impact of the disease is like.”

Meningitis Now free Family Days, supported by Children in Need, are held in different locations up and down the UK to allow as many families as possible to attend.

They are designed to provide parents, guardians or grandparents with the opportunity to meet other local families who have been affected by meningitis, and find out more about the support available to them through Meningitis Now.

Those attending can join in the activities with the children or spend time chatting informally with other parents and Meningitis Now staff.

“We know that the impact of meningitis reaches much further than the individual concerned,” Susette added.

“It can have a huge effect on all those closest to them, especially family and friends.

“Meningitis changes lives and futures, which is why bringing together families with similar experiences of the disease is so important.

“Having a fun day with your family may seem a small thing, but when your family has lived through the trauma of meningitis together, it means so much.”

Registration closes on Friday August 26. Places are limited to two adults per family and registration will be operated on a first come first served basis.

Meningitis Now will operate a waiting list if the event is oversubscribed.

Children up to 16 years old are welcome, but some of the activities on offer do have a lower age limit of 7 years old.

There will be access to activities for younger children, but parents should consider that not all the family may be able to take part in all activities.

To find out more about the day contact Susette on susettew@meningitisnow.org or visit www.meningitisnow.org/familyday to register.

Meningitis Now, in its 30th anniversary year this year, is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.

It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.

Usually caused by bacteria or viruses, meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Some bacteria that cause meningitis also cause septicaemia (blood poisoning) and the two often happen together.

The early signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia can be similar to flu and include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle pain. The more specific signs include fever with cold hands and feet, drowsiness, confusion, pale blotchy skin, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights and a rash which doesn’t fade under pressure.

For more information on meningitis, the work of Meningitis Now or to donate visit www.meningitisnow.org