Meningitis Meet-Ups a success

06 Feb 2020
Meningitis Meet-Ups a success

Meningitis Research Foundation's (MRF's) new peer support initiative, Meningitis Meet-Ups, will continue into 2020 following a successful pilot.

Meningitis Meet-Ups are an opportunity for people to talk to and meet others impacted by meningitis or septicaemia, and provide an informal safe space to talk about how they are feeling.  The meetings provide another way for people affected by meningitis to access MRF’s support services, in addition to befriending, the helpline, live chat and email.

The Support Service team have hosted Meningitis Meet-Ups in Bristol, Cardiff, Tallaght (Ireland), Belfast, Manchester, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Exeter, Luton, Derby, Birmingham, Guildford and Edinburgh.   They also hosted events alongside the Great North Run and the Great Manchester Run, which proved to be immensely beneficial and saw the highest number of attendees.  One Meet-Up was led by an MRF Ambassador.

“We are here to help. Nobody needs to face meningitis and sepsis alone - Cat Keeling, Support and Membership Manager, MRF

Forty people attended.  All agreed that the Meningitis Meet-Up helped them feel more informed, more supported and less alone and felt that their overall impression of the event was good or excellent.  Some of the feedback from the Meet-ups:

  • "Very useful to meet MRF staff face to face."
  • "It was good to meet MRF Staff and fellow survivors!!"
  • "Keep doing the work you do, to defeat this disease. It is so important to meet up like this as I haven’t been able to make the larger members days so I have missed out on the opportunity to meet staff and other members."

Cat Keeling, MRF Support Services Manager, who hosted the event with colleague Katherine Carter said: “We are here to help. Nobody needs to face meningitis and sepsis alone.  After hosting thirteen meetings we are really inspired by the positive effects of connecting with others who have a relatable experience.  Thanks to those who attended the Meet-Ups.

“As meningitis is rare, families can feel alone in dealing with its impact.  Meet-Ups reduce isolation and offer face-to-face peer support to people affected by meningitis.  We know that this opens up new avenues of friendship, and informs people regarding support available and tips on how they have overcome difficulties since being poorly.  We are now planning our Meningitis Meet-Ups from March 2020."

MRF offers support in the UK and Ireland for everyone living with bereavement following meningitis or coping with after effects.  If you missed 2019’s Meet-Ups, you can talk to the Support Services Team by phoning the free Helpline, emailing, or using Live Chat on this website. 

You don’t need to face meningitis and sepsis alone

Support from someone who has been there.


You can befriend or be befriended.

MRF Information and Support Officer, Katherine Carter reports on our latest family day for those affected by meningitis and septicaemia
Mike Davies contracted bacterial meningitis in 2017. This is his story.
Connect families affected by meningitis so they don’t feel alone
Connect families affected by meningitis so they don’t feel alone
£58 funds one support worker to attend our ‘Meningitis Meet-Ups’ – a chance for families affected by meningitis to meet each other for informal peer support.
Media contact
Rob Dawson - Director of Advocacy, Communications and Support
Tel: 0333 405 6262
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