About Meningitis Research Foundation

Our vision is a world free from meningitis and septicaemia

Meningitis and septicaemia kill around 1,000 people around the world every day.

Babies and children under five and young people are especially vulnerable but anyone of any age can be affected.

Globally, up to 5% of all deaths of children aged under five are caused by meningitis and septicaemia, while a third of survivors have long term disabilities, like amputation, brain damage and deafness.

Meningitis Research Foundation:

Brian Scott - Chair of Trustees

In March 2015, the UK government announced a start date of September 2015 for a mass infant vaccination programme against Group B meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia (MenB). MenB is the main cause of the diseases in the UK and Ireland.

Introduction of the vaccine will save lives and spare countless families the trauma of seeing a loved one die or become seriously disabled because of MenB.

MenB has been top of our charity’s agenda for decades. We pay tribute to all the scientists and health professionals involved in creating the vaccine, to our supporters for their help in funding research into MenB, and to our members whose telling of their often bitter experiences of meningitis and septicaemia has been vital in our campaigning for the vaccine to be introduced. Their stories demonstrated the most compelling case for prevention.

A great step forward in the fight against meningitis and septicaemia, but not the end of the story.

The new MenB vaccine will not protect against all strains of disease. There are other causes of meningitis and septicaemia which are not yet vaccine preventable. Research into disease prevention and MenB vaccine evaluation is still urgently needed.

Campaigning for wider use of the MenB vaccine is still required as the vaccination programme is only for babies. We will continue to campaign for the vaccine’s implementation in Ireland so that children north and south of the border are protected.

During the year we were also delighted with the part our Meningococcal Genome Library played in the UK government’s decision to introduce an emergency one-off vaccination programme for adolescents and university freshers to combat the rise of a particularly deadly strain of Group W meningococcal bacteria (MenW).

Having achieved so much with our supporters over the years, we are now taking this invaluable experience and knowledge overseas, where meningitis remains a significant killer, particularly of babies and young children. We aim to build on our track record of significant support for research outside of the UK and Ireland while developing new models to tackle the diseases globally, like our Action Meningitis health intervention project in Malawi.

Action Meningitis has over the last two years trained and empowered 192 front-line health workers to recognise severe illness and prioritise the sickest children. Through them triage has been delivered to 215,000 children across eight primary health clinics. The system has radically improved patient flow through the clinics, with shorter waiting times for all patients.

We remain engaged to solve the significant remaining problems of death and serious life-altering disability as we continue to work towards making our vision of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia a reality.

    Meet the team

    Meningitis Research Foundation is made up of people throughout the world who come together to work towards our vision of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia.

    Financial information

    The charity's income in 2014/15 was £2.32 million.

    The charity's expenditure in 2014/15 was £2.31m.

    The 2014/15 annual report and accounts have been drawn up following the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) 2005 - Accounting and Reporting by Charities.

    Download a full copy of the 2014/15 Annual Report and Accounts

    Download a full copy of the 2013/14 Annual Report and Accounts

    Download a full copy of the 2012/13 Annual Report and Accounts

    Download a full copy of the 2011/12 Annual Report and Accounts

    Working in the lab

    The big numbers

    • £18.5m invested over in 147 research projects since 1989
    • £1m spent on awareness and personal support to those affected every year
    • Over one million leaflets freely distributed to the public and health professionals every year
    • Over17,500 members and supporters of the charity
    • 400 first-hand stories in our online Book of Experience, in words and on video

    The charity

    • Our head office is in Thornbury, Bristol, and we have teams in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh and Blantyre, Malawi.
    • We are a national registered charity in England and Wales, and Scotland. Our registration number in England and Wales is 1091105. In Scotland it is SC037586. We have charity exemption in Ireland, reference CHY 12030.
    • Our registered office is Midland Way, Thornbury, Bristol UK BS35 2BS Contact us
    • MeningitisWise is the name of our support services which include a Freefone* helpline, in-depth, tailored information for people affected, a befriender network, home visits  and  member events. Find out more

    *Free from all landlines and most mobiles.

    Dóchas Code of Conduct

    Meningitis Research Foundation is a proud signatory of the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Messages and Images for development organisations.

    Read more
    Meningitis Baby Watch


    Our information and training materials are endorsed by:

    • British Infection Association
    • British Medical Association
    • College of Emergency Medicine
    • Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee
    • NHS Scotland
    • Royal College of General Practitioners
    • Royal College of Nursing
    • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
    See, order and download resources for the public and health professionals

    Working with us