Hundreds of people are gathering to support the work of Stroud-based charity Meningitis Now on Wednesday, November 29th and to remember and celebrate loved ones who have been affected by the disease.
The charity is bringing supporters together, many of whom have personal experiences of meningitis, for its annual Christmas Concert at Gloucester Cathedral.
The event will also feature a special remembrance Christmas tree which will be filled with white ribbons, each of which is dedicated to someone special affected by the disease.
The concert is one of the most popular events in the Stroud-based charity’s calendar, offering traditional Christmas carols and festive musical entertainment in a wonderful setting. This year’s concert will feature performances from the Chalford Band, The Rock Choir and the talented pupils from Highnam C of E Primary Academy.
Chief Executive of Meningitis Now Dr Tom Nutt said: “The concert is always a festive, moving and uplifting event, where we can reflect and celebrate with plenty of traditional carols for everyone to sing along to.”
“This year we are very grateful for Jessica Vickery and her family for sharing their story of losing Josh, Jessica’s husband and the father of their three small children, to pneumococcal meningitis in 2021.”
“Jessica will be speaking about her experience of losing Josh. It is Jess’s hope that people will join her in helping Meningitis Now so that we can support families like hers to face a future after meningitis with hope and confidence.”
Thanks to donations in support of the Meningitis Now ‘Ribbon Appeal’ the charity can offer essential services to families facing bereavement.
The charity, which has been based in Gloucestershire since the 1980s, offers a trusted and compassionate listening ear through its Nurse-led Helpline, Community Support Officer visits, and Facebook groups.
Dr Nutt added: “We never forget the life-long impact that meningitis has on families who’ve lost a loved one. Remembering the people lost to this terrible disease continues to be a very important aspect of our work.”
The early signs and symptoms of meningitis can be similar to flu and include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle pain. More specific signs and symptoms 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.
If you suspect meningitis, trust your instincts and seek urgent medical help by contacting your GP or calling 111.
Meningitis Now’s Christmas Concert takes place at Gloucester Cathedral on Wednesday 29 November, starting at 7pm.
Tickets are available to buy via the charity’s concert webpage – https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/events-and-fundraising/fundraising-events/support-us-this-christmas/gloucester-carol-concert/
Or phone 01453 768000. Tickets are also available to buy on the night at the door.
To donate to the charity’s Ribbon appeal please visit the Ribbon Appeal webpage here – www.meningitisnow.org/Ribbon