- Advertisement -Meningitis Now is the UK's largest meningitis charity, offering support, funding research and raising awareness.

Chief exec is ‘hotfooting it’ to raise vital funds

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Tom Nutt, CEO of Meningitis Now, talks about doing a firewalk this weekend and of the importance of fundraising and the local community to this Stroud-based, UK-wide charity.

“When I joined Meningitis Now as chief executive in 2017, I remember being told ‘you won’t join a warmer or more compassionate charity’. Seven years on, this has certainly been proven to be true, as Meningitis Now is an incredibly compassionate organisation. But I never expected the warmth to reach 1,236 degree Fahrenheit – which is the temperature of the burning embers I’ll be walking on at a firewalk taking place on Sunday to raise vital funds for the charity. 

“I’m sure many readers of Stroud Times will be familiar with the work of Meningitis Now, which is often still known by its old name, The Meningitis Trust. Founded in 1986, Meningitis Now funds research into the prevention, treatment and understanding of meningitis, raises awareness of the disease and how to prevent it, and supports people and families who have been affected.

cormac201222 00018 | Chief exec is 'hotfooting it' to raise vital funds
9-year-old Cormac challenges Meningitis Now CEO Dr Tom Nutt to a race along Brighton beach.

“We’re proud of our Stroud roots and also operate nationally – and each year we have to raise more than £2.2m to keep going. Thankfully, we have a good number of supporters who help us raise these funds, including many businesses, grant-making trusts and countless individuals and families. Each year people make donations, raise sponsorship, volunteer and do all sorts of interesting and impressive things to help us generate the income we need. One of our Trustees has even just rowed the Atlantic Ocean – a feat that lasted over 50 days and nights at sea!

“As CEO, I think it’s important for me to do my bit. On Sunday, for example, I’m doing a firewalk in Solihull, near Birmingham. This involves walking over six-metres on burning embers – not something I have ever wished to do before! Luckily another 30 or more people will be joining me, and it will be a great occasion. Some have really got into the swing of fundraising on the back of it – one person has raised over £2,000 already.

“I’ve also run the London Marathon twice, in 2019 and 2023, raising over £20,000. And this year I plan to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon in April and the Swansea Half Marathon in June. I like running, but it can be hard to fit in around a busy day job and family life. I live in Thrupp too, so every run involves a lot of hills.

“Luckily, I like to run after dark, and this enables me to find the time. Admittedly, it’s not as adventurous as rowing the Atlantic but it all helps and, without fundraising, Meningitis Now couldn’t do its vital research, awareness and support work.

“If readers want to find out more, they can always pop in and see us on the Bath Road or look us up www.meningitisnow.org. And people are always welcome at our local events, such as the iconic Five Valleys Walk, which will take place on 29th September or the Gloucester Cathedral Christmas Celebration concert on 27th November. Maybe see you there – with no pressure to either walk on fire or row an ocean.”

You can sponsor Tom here: https://www.justgiving.com/page/tom-nutt-1710324663039

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