Community group’s £2,500 donation towards meningitis fight

Ken Robinson, left, accepts a donation from Houghton's 41 Club to the Meningitis Research Foundation.
Ken Robinson, left, accepts a donation from Houghton's 41 Club to the Meningitis Research Foundation.

A community group has handed over thousands of pounds towards the fight against deadly meningitis.

Houghton’s 41 Club has donated a total of £2,5000 for the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).

The amount was accepted by MRF ambassador Ken Robinson, whose son Glenn died from aged just 16 in 1997 after contracting meningitis.

Talented cricketer Glenn, a Durham Academy player who also played for Philadelphia CC close to where he lived, was struck down by the meningococcal septicaemia strain of the brain disease.

Since his son’s death, Ken has campaigned tirelessly for meningitis research organising events including annual football talk-ins, charity football matches and even a ladies’ cricket match.

He raised well over £70,000 since Glenn’s death.

Ken said: “This is an amazing amount of money.

“I cannot thank all of those involved in the 41 Club enough; it is a wonderful gesture for which I am very grateful to them all.

“They work very hard during the year to raise funds for various charities.

“Of course we have to thank all those people who have put money in buckets etc, to support their work.

“I am so pleased to receive this amount of money because I am fully aware of what it will be spent on, such as further research, further vaccines to protect out young families.

“Thank you so much.”

A key area of work for MRF in recent years has been to promote the life-saving MenACWY vaccination programme.

The vaccine was introduced in 2015 to stop a rapid rise in cases of the new and deadly MenW (group W mengicoccal meningitis and septicaemia.

Figures from Public Health England have now shown that cases are falling among 15 to 24-year-olds, the group which is eligible for the vaccine.

There have been no new cases of MenW in people vaccinated against MenACWY.

The MenB vaccine, introduced in the UK in 2015, has also shown to be working well following a campaign by the MRF to bring it in.

MRF has now funded a pilot study looking at whether the MenB vaccine can help prevent teenagers carrying the MenB bacteria, not only protecting them, but also stopping the spread of bacteria.

The findings will assist with a larger Government study, due to start this year.