National charity Meningitis Now has launched its new pooch-friendly fundraiser Wag for Meningitis and you’d be barking to miss it.
Four-legged friends can Walk and Give (WAG) for the charity anytime, anywhere – all they need is you.
From getting sponsored for a walk every day for 30 days, to getting involved in doggy challenges and canine capers, WAG for Meningitis is a brilliant way to include your pup in the fight against the deadly disease.
Meningitis Now Community Fundraiser Leah Wynn explained that participants just needed to decide how to get involved, help their dog set up their JustGiving page, and guarantee raising a minimum of £30.
Every dog that completes the challenge will be awarded their very own certificate of paw-ticipation.
Leah said: “Walking your pup is already part of most dog-owners’ day, so this is an excellent way to raise money for a great cause at the same time.
“If you can’t commit to doing 30 walks, there are plenty of other ways you can join in – from baking doggy treats and setting up your own “barkery”, to throwing a puppy party for your dog’s canine pals.
“Just remember that every penny raised will be put towards fighting meningitis and supporting all of those who have been impacted by this terrible disease.”
To make sure your four-legged friend looks the part, you can also kit them out with a Meningitis Now branded bandana in the charity’s trademark bright orange.
WAG was partly inspired by five-year-old lurcher Macey, who became the campaign’s mascot after herself fighting off meningitis.
Rescue-dog Macey will be following the progress of the WAG walkers from her newly-found forever home in Shropshire.
Meningitis Now is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.
It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.
For more information and to donate visit www.MeningitisNow.org
Meningitis and Septicaemia Facts
• Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord; usually caused by bacteria or viruses.
• Some bacteria that cause meningitis also cause septicaemia (blood poisoning).
• The early signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia can be similar to ‘flu and include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and muscle pain.
• More specific signs and symptoms include fever with cold hands and feet, drowsiness, confusion, pale blotchy skin, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights and a rash which doesn’t fade under pressure.
• In babies, symptoms include being floppy and unresponsive, dislike of being handled, rapid breathing, an unusual, moaning cry and a bulging fontanelle (soft spot on the top of the head).
• There are an estimated 3,200 cases of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia each year in the UK.
• Following bacterial meningitis or septicaemia, one in ten people will die and at least a third of survivors will be left with lifelong after-effects such as hearing loss, epilepsy, limb loss or learning difficulties.
• It can affect anyone, but most at risk are babies, young children and teenagers.
• Vaccines give protection against SOME types of meningitis. BUT there are not vaccines to protect against ALL types.
• If you suspect meningitis or septicaemia, trust your instincts and get immediate medical help.
For more information visit www.MeningitisNow.org . Freephone helpline 0808 80 10 388.