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Staff, children and families across several UK and Singapore nurseries joined forces to take park in a World Waddle Toddle to raise money for the charity, Meningitis Now.
Busy Bee nurseries raised £14,017 as part of the collective sponsored walk, and helped to raise awareness about meningitis for parents.
Steve Dayman, executive founder of Meningitis Now, said: “We’re delighted that Busy Bees has chosen to support us this year and we look forward to working with them to help raise vital awareness with parents and staff about how to spot the signs and symptoms of meningitis.
“We’re particularly thrilled about their commitment to pilot our Meningitis Aware Recognition Mark for its nurseries. This will demonstrate that staff, parents and carers know about meningitis and the actions to take if suspected.”
Meningitis is one of the biggest fears of parents and the charity walk allowed parents to gain a much greater understanding of the disease, especially in helping them to spot the symptoms early, which is vital, as the disease can spread very quickly.
Bacterial meningitis kills more UK children under the age of five than any other infectious disease, so the pairing of a nursery group and a meningitis charity is an especially good match.
There are many different causes of meningitis, according to Meningitis UK, but the two most common organisms are viruses and bacteria. Parents are advised to catch the highly infectious disease early by doing a ‘glass test’ if they spot any unusual symptoms, such as rashes or high temperatures.
Bacterial meningitis is life-threatening, whilst viral meningitis is rarely so, although it can have very severe after effects.
The charity has created a meningitis aware recognition mark (MARM) which educates and provides free materials and ongoing support to organisations such as pharmacies and universities.
Being piloted and funded by the Busy Bees group is a MARM that has been developed for nurseries, which will shortly be available.
Marg Randles, managing director of Busy Bees, said: “We believe that children and young people deserve the very best start in life. This often means providing the youngest members of our communities, and of course, their families, with the information, the tools and the support they need to cope with the unthinkable.
“That is why, to us at Busy Bees, the charities we work with are so much more than just a charity. We carefully choose to show our support to the charities that will make a real difference to people’s lives and Meningitis Now is a cause we’re more than proud to support.
Nurseries that are interested in registering with the MARM scheme, and becoming a ‘meningitis aware’ nursery can sign up here: www.meningitisnow.org/how-we-help/marm/meningitis-aware-recognition-mark-nurseries