Viral Meningitis Awareness Week

Meningitis Now logo

This week is Viral Meningitis Awareness Week and we wanted to do our bit to share important information about Meningitis, and give you the chance to help us fundraise too! 

For the next 24 hours we're donating 20% of profits from all online orders to Meningitis Now.


Gardner family photo

Meningitis Now is a cause very close to our heart. Founders Caroline and Angus Gardner chose the charity over 16 years ago, having had a personal experience with the illness when their then fifteen-month-old son, Sebastian contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia. Thankfully he recovered and since have supported Meningitis now with our charity Christmas cards and shopping bag collaborations. We are proud to have raised well over £235,000 for Meningitis Now. 

Meningitis Now

Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Every year in the UK, 8,000 people contract either bacterial or viral meningitis. That’s 22 people, every day. Around one in 10 who contract bacterial meningitis will die. Of those that survive, 30%-50% can be left with lifelong after-effects, such as hearing and sight loss, acquired brain injury, epilepsy, special educational needs, chronic pain and fatigue. 

Meningitis Now funds research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so that 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.

Their research and campaigning has helped the development and introduction of five lifesaving vaccines now available on the NHS – reducing the number of UK meningococcal meningitis cases by nearly 80% in the last 20 years.

Signs and Symptoms 

Early symptoms of meningitis can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever with cold hands and feet

Common signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia

  • Fever with cold hands and feet
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsy or difficult to wake
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Pale blotchy skin, spots or rash (See Glass Test (link))
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike bright lights
  • Convulsions or seizures

Someone with meningitis or septicaemia can get a lot worse very quickly so you must keep checking them. DO NOT wait for a rash. If someone is ill and getting worse, trust your instincts.

How to make a difference

Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions have meant fundraising events have been cancelled and as a result Meningitis Now lost almost half of their budgeted income for 2020/21. So getting involved in fundraising and raising awareness is more important than ever. You can get involved by:

  • Making a donation
  • Get involved in fundraising events - Why not take part in the 5k May Challenge? Complete 5km in whatever way you can – whether it’s run, roll, walk, cycle, swim, skate or even skip – then donate a minimum of £5 to Meningitis Now, and finally nominating five friends to carry on this challenge.
  • Posting and sharing Meningitis Now content on social media
  • Volunteering your time
  • Frank & Miller are eager to get their paws on the latest accessory - a Meningitis Now Dog Bandana!


The BBC have recently made this 10 minute video as part of their Life Appeal, in which Lisa Snowdon presents a powerful overview about Meningitis Now. 

BBC Life Appeal

Please watch and share!