Support services

MRF provides a range of support services for those who have been affected by meningitis and septicaemia/sepsis

MRF has been supporting people for over thirty years and this has always remained a core pillar of our work.

Supporting someone who has gone through or is going through the worst time is immensely important and over the past few years we have expanded our support services to make them more accessible and more inclusive.

Meningitis meet ups

In 2019 we have been piloting our Meningitis Meet Ups programme.

Meet Ups were introduced to provide a hosted, informal, open and safe meeting place for all those with personal experience of meningitis and septicaemia.

These meetings were designed  for people to meet each other, build links with peers and access information from staff at Meningitis Research Foundation through centrally located meetings across the UK and Ireland. We hoped that they would help to reduce feelings of isolation, highlight our support services and enable us to sustain relationships with our members and others affected by this disease.

To date we have hosted 14 meet ups across the UK and Ireland meeting with nearly 40 people. We also supported an Ambassador for the charity to host a meningitis meet up.

  • 100% of people who attended, advised their overall impression of the meet up was good or excellent
  • 100% of people agreed or strongly agreed that the meningitis meet up helped them feel, more informed, more supported and less alone.
Find outmore about upcoming Meet Ups here

"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"

Members' days

We have hosted annual Members' days for many years, however, 2019 saw our most successful yet.

We were proud to welcome over 100 of our members to Legoland Windsor.  We were able to offer families heavily discounted entry so they could enjoy a day out as a family.

To celebrate our 30th Year we organised two talks and birthday cake and this gave families a chance to meet us, one another and relax from the hustle and bustle of the day.

  • 93% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more informed about the work of the charity and more supported
  • 86% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt less alone.

"I can't express enough how helpful the staff have been. It was so stress free collecting the tickets and myself and my family were so grateful for the opportunity to go to Legoland. We had the best day ever and more importantly we made some fantastic family memories."

"Thought it was lovely to get together with the charity, hear about their work and celebrate with them. It gave a pause in our day to reflect a bit on the impact meningitis has had on our family too"

"It was a brilliant family day, giving us quality time together and to escape from the routine of our normal life. We are very grateful for the opportunity"

"Thank you so much for your tireless work in helping to combat meningitis, which took the life of our son, and for the opportunity to spend the day together as a family. We all made new memories and had a brilliant time!"

Pushing the Boundaries

Pushing the Boundaries -  Life after Limb Loss is a support day for families with children who have lost limbs due to meningitis and septicaemia. 

Families have the opportunity to get their questions answered by medical specialists, see the latest prosthetics, and meet other families who have been affected by the disease. Children with amputations, alongside their siblings, can get involved in a range of sporting activities with specialist coaches, whilst parents can listen to talks from expert clinicians specialising in rehabilitation medicine. 

This event is in its sixth year and we are always looking for new ways to enhance the day.  In 2020 we are also offering arts and crafts activities for the children, alongside the sports.

  • 88% of people agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more informed, more supported and less alone
  • 88% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more optimistic about the future

 

We asked children at Pushing the Boundaries, who have had amputations as a result of meningitis, their opinions on raising awareness, life after limb loss and prosthetics. ​

"It was just an amazing day in every way"

"An amazing informative, inspirational day. Learnt so many things and met some wonderful people"

"Meeting new people, seeing old faces and learning more about the upcoming procedures, treatments and prostheses"

"Truly inspiring"

"Meeting and talking to fellow survivors and parents was so helpful"

The Befriending Programme

We have been running a befriending programme since 1989.

This unique service specialises in putting people who have been affected by meningitis and septicaemia in touch with a trained befriender who has similar experience. The service is available for anyone who would like to talk and you do not have to be the person who was poorly.

We train our befrienders and support them through the whole process and we support both parties throughout the befriending journey.

We have 71 befrienders at the moments and we trained 9 new Befrienders in 2019.

If you are interested in becoming a befriender or being befriended, you can read more here

"The Befriending network has been so helpful for me, I felt like I was the only person in the world to have meningitis and I would really recommend the service as it allows you to speak to someone who has actually been through it"

"I felt so alone following the death of my husband. I contacted MRF and they put me in contact with a lovely lady, who made me realise that my feelings were normal"

Home visits

Home visits have always been an integral part of our support service.

We understand that face to face support is invaluable and we travel around the UK and Ireland when we are needed.

Home visits give the opportunity to talk in depth through questions and concerns someone may have.

"When MRF support staff came to visit the first time we really didn’t know what to expect… But we felt able, for the first time our daughter died, to tell someone how we really felt, whilst feeling very safe"

Live Chat

We were proud to introduce Live Chat to our support service in September 2019.

We find this service to be fully inclusive and so far we have found that we have reached many people especially those with a hearing impairment and those living with a bereavement who are not ready to pick up the phone.

Our Live chat runs Monday to Friday 10am -3pm and you ‘chat live’ with us on this website.

Since September 2019  we have supported approximately 110 people via the Live chat service.

 

We take action that benefits people directly. including, training health professionals and providing support and information services.
You don’t need to face meningitis and sepsis alone
MRF Information and Support Officer, Katherine Carter reports on our latest family day for those affected by meningitis and septicaemia
Many of the after effects of meningitis aren't immediately obvious. In this blog, Support Manager Cat explains how we can help.
Ensure our support services are there for people affected by meningitis
Ensure our support services are there for people affected by meningitis
£5/€6/$6.60 per month ensures our support services are there for 10 people affected by meningitis
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Cat Shehu
Support and membership manager

Hello, I'm Cat.

If you'd like to know more about this project, get in touch

Tel: 0333 405 6267