Norwich family of fundraisers reach £100,000 after two sons lost to meningitis

19 Apr 2017
Norwich family of fundraisers reach £100,000 after two sons lost to meningitis

Danny Sweatman from Rackheath near Norwich and his family have raised a staggering £100,000 for Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).

Sadly in 1991 Danny’s brother Joe died from pneumococcal meningitis at just seven weeks old. The following year his brother Ryan was born and grew up to be a lovable, caring person adored by all his family and many friends. Then tragedy struck the family again in January 2012 when Ryan was also lost cruelly to meningococcal septicaemia. Ryan was just 19 years old and died while he was at university.

A remembrance fund was set up for Ryan, and with the £100,000 mark in sight, Danny organised a meningitis awareness week in the local community and a charity ball to raise the extra £10,000 needed to take them past their impressive fundraising milestone. Both events were a huge success.

The meningitis awareness week took place from the 27 - 31 March at the school where Danny works as a teacher, Aylsham High School. With the help of his friends, colleagues and students it was an action packed week involving a huge bake sale, a staff ‘boot camp’ and dodgeball with students cheering them on, film showings, and 500 students ran 5km. The school raised £4000 and learned about the symptoms of meningitis along the way.

An evening ball on Saturday 1 April at Oxnead Hall was another success involving fine dining, music from the acoustic duo Cally Gee and Ollie Johnson, an auction and a raffle. The night brought in over £6000.

Danny said, “My incredible family, friends, colleagues and community have simply blown me away with their generosity and support during the awareness week, the ball and every day since Ryan passed away. To reach £100,000 has left me speechless. Words cannot express how much my family and I appreciate everyone’s continued support. Lives will be saved because of these events. Whether it's the money we've raised to support MRF to continue with vital research or simply having the knowledge of what signs and symptoms to look out for. I will never be able to thank everyone enough.”

Ian Beningfield, Head of Fundraising at MRF said, “We are so grateful to Danny, his mum Gina, and their family and friends. It is incredible how they have brought together their whole community to raise awareness and funds for MRF in memory of Joe and Ryan. The funds will help us enormously in our research, awareness and support programmes to ensure that other families don’t have to go through what Danny and Gina’s has as a result of meningitis.”

Special thanks from Danny go to:

The staff, students, parents and carers at Aylsham High School, Gina Weston (Danny’s mum), Emmalucy Auber, Natasha-Jane McGlinchey, Laura Tartt, Julie Zulu, Simon Claxton, Sue Tartt, Alison Barker, Sue Heys, Tanya Wiseman, Annabel Crook, Hazel Martin, Danny Saunders, Nina Flynn, George Wilson, So Lee Jung, Emmie and Lola-May Wright, Claire Chandler.

To watch Gina’s video click here:

Fundraising Events
Fundraising Events
Running, cycling, walking, family events - something for everyone in the fight against meningitis
Media contact
Holly Edwards - Communications Manager
Tel: 07875 498 047
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