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Childcare provider Busy Bees has announced it will be supporting Meningitis Now throughout 2017 to raise awareness and contribute to the £3m the charity needs to smoothly throughout the year.
The UK’s largest childcare provider currently has 268 nurseries across the UK, which will all participate in fundraising activities throughout the year to make a substantial contribution to fund the charity’s life-saving work, having raised close to £100,000 for its 2016 charity partner, Winston's Wish.
Steve Dayman, executive founder of Meningitis Now, who lost his son to meningitis in 1982, described Busy Bees as a “beacon of excellence” for all providers across the UK.
He said: “‘We are very excited about the prospect of working with Busy Bees and the opportunity it offers to inform staff and parents about the importance of knowing key meningitis signs and symptoms.
“The commitment Busy Bees are making to pilot our Meningitis Awareness Mark programme within their nurseries will act as beacon of excellence for all pre-school groups, across the UK, as it defines a clear standard of meningitis knowledge that will become the mark of assurance for parents entrusting their children in to this type of childcare.
“As a charity, we receive no money from government and can only fund the work we do in research, awareness and supporting people by the generous donations we receive.
“To be nominated as Busy Bees’ charity of the year is a great honour and one that will, through its donations, go a long way in helping achieve these aims.’’
Meningitis is one of the most feared diseases for parents in particular, but it affects thousands of people of all ages each year in the UK, with one in ten losing their life to bacterial meningitis, and one in three being left with lifelong disabilities.
Meningitis Now, which is the only charity dedicated to fighting meningitis in the UK, works to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and funds vital research projects into prevention and vaccinations, with the aim of achieving a future where no one loses their life to meningitis.
Its family support services, resources and community awareness campaigns also offer support to families affected by meningitis, helping them to rebuild their lives.
Marg Randles, managing director of Busy Bees, said: “We’re committed to supporting a charity that helps families and young people and for us, Meningitis Now is a cause we’re passionate about supporting.
“Members of staff across our 268 nurseries nationwide are preparing a range of exciting fundraising events for our children and parents, which we hope during 2017 will make real difference to children, young people and their families across the UK.”