Meningitis UK, founded by Alveston pioneer Steve Dayman, to merge with Meningitis Trust next month
TWO leading meningitis charities are set to merge next month in a bid to spearhead research and eradicate once and for all the devastating disease.
Meningitis UK, founded by Alveston’s Steve Dayman after he lost his baby son to the infection, and Stroud-based Meningitis Trust will merge in April.
The tie-up will create the biggest meningitis charity in the country and bring together expertise in research and prevention, with established support services and after-care.
Mr Dayman said joining forces and resources would allow the charities to provide the best support services available.
"Since losing my son to meningitis 30 years ago, it’s been our mission to fund research into preventing meningitis and we have achieved so much with three vaccines in place," he said.
"But every week six people still die and families need our continued support."
He added: "By coming together we will have a greater imp[act in the UK, funding not only pioneering research programme but providing the best education and support services available."
The pioneer launched Meningitis UK, the first ever meningitis charity, 30 years ago to find a cure to the disease which killed his one-year-old son Spencer in 1982.
The merger will enable Meningitis UK and Meningitis Trust to continue funding preventative research and lifelong support whilst building on education and awareness work.
Both organisations will continue to operate under their individual names until the end of the year, when the merged charity’s new moniker and branding are unveiled.
Meningitis Trust chief executive Sue Davie will act as CEO of the new charity. Meningitis UK chief executive Kate Rowland decided to step down and will not be a part of the new organisation.
Mrs Davie said: "The charity will initially work under existing anmes and brands following the merger in April, with a new-look charity being launched towards the end of the year."
A shadow board of trustees was formed in October 2012 to put together a merger plan. It will now become the board of new charity in April.
Alastair Irvine, chairman of the board of trustees, said: "This is a huge opportunity for two leading meningitis charities to join forces and have an even greater impact on behalf of our beneficiaries.
"We have worked in partnership over the last four years and together we are committed to fighting meningitis in the UK."