Students organise fundraising football match after two friends are affected by meningitis

Students organise fundraising football match after two friends are affected by meningitis

04 January 2017

Jake Hendy, a 17 year old student at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, organised a fundraising football match after two of his friends were affected by meningitis in 2016.

Two teams of students each with 12 players went head to head in the match which took place on the 23rd December at Bristol Brunel Academy.

The event was a big success and many people went along to cheer on the teams. The score was 7-2 to Jake’s team and the students hit their target of raising £300 for Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) - a charity which has its headquarters in Bristol.

Jake said, “Meningitis is a disease that affects thousands of young lives every year and has affected some friends of mine. In May our friend Izzy Gentry sadly died from meningitis. It was a shock to all of us at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College. Then in July I went on holiday with my best mate Aaron Williams and when we got back he got meningitis too. Thankfully he survived. I organised the football match to raise funds for MRF in memory of Izzy, and for Aaron, to raise awareness of the disease.”

Rob Dawson, Head of Support at MRF said, “We’re very grateful to Jake and his friends. The funds they have worked hard to raise will be used to support MRF’s lifesaving research into the prevention, detection and early treatment of meningitis. It will also allow us to continue supporting families affected by this devastating disease.

“The overall risk of contracting meningitis is low, but young people who go to university or college are particularly at risk of meningitis and septicaemia because they mix with so many other students, some of whom are unknowingly carrying the bacteria. We’re encouraging all eligible young people to get the free MenACWY vaccine from their GP to protect themselves from four of the strains of meningococcal meningitis, Men A, C, W and Y.”

Donations can still be made at:

Notes to Editors:

  • MRF estimates that there have been on average around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. (Figures collated from data between 2002-2012). 
  • One in ten people affected will die and a third of survivors will be left with after-effects, some as serious as brain damage, amputations, blindness or hearing loss. 
Media contacts:

Sam Williams
Media Relations Manager

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m MRF's PR Manager.

If you want to know more about this story call me on 0333 405 626251, out of office hours on 07875 498047 or email me