What we do

Our vision is a world free from meningitis and septicaemia

Millions of people have already been affected by meningitis and septicaemia in the UK, Ireland and around the world. They are devastating diseases which can kill and seriously disable in hours.

Meningitis Research Foundation:

  • Fundraises to support research into the prevention, detection and treatment of the diseases and to share knowledge gained by research so everyone can benefit
  • Campaigns to ensure no one suffers from a vaccine preventable disease – taking our cause to the people who make decisions about health care
  • Actively promotes knowledge by freely distributing leaflets and posters to the public and health professionals in print and online
  • Works with experts and health professionals to develop and publicise guidelines to improve treatment
  • Helps clinics in parts of Malawi to implement a triage system.
  • Assists with a helpline operated by trained nurses and staff 365 days a year
  • Supports those already affected – the individuals and families who have lost loved ones or have been left managing disability
  • Hosts a major meningitis and septicaemia conference every two years with the world’s leading specialist scientists and medics attending
  • Runs the UK and Ireland’s annual Meningitis Awareness Week in September

But the sad fact is meningitis and septicaemia kill around 1,000 people around the world. Every single day one person dies in the UK and Ireland alone. Babies and children under five and young people are especially vulnerable but anyone of any age can be affected.

We are trusted by the:

  • NHS to provide symptom information and support to members of the public
  • NICE (National Institute for Health Care Excellence) to produce paediatric algorithms for health professionals distributed by them
  • Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) to produce in association with them an ambulance card for staff
  • Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) to fund research of the highest quality
  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to conduct leading edge research focussed on the needs of the public
  • Helplines Partnership to provide quality support to a recognised standard
  • Mentoring and Befriending Foundation to provide an effective service which transforms lives
  • Fundraising Standards Board to operate transparently, giving donors confidence
  • Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) to campaign against the disease
  • Bond to deliver effective international development projects which influence governments
Our information and training materials are endorsed by the:

  • 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



Working in the lab

The big numbers

  • £17m invested over in 140 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
  • 16,000 members and supporters of the charity
  • 400 first-hand stories in our online Book of Experience, in words and on video
Paul Wadeson
Pneumococcal meningitis
Pneumococcal meningitis at 31

My fiancee came home to check on me and found me unconscious in bed

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