A PARALYMPIC gold medalist is encouraging people to support Thornbury-based Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) in its 25th anniversary year.

World Champion sprinter Jonnie Peacock, who lost his right leg to meningitis, is asking people to join him in 2014 by supporting the charity.

The 20-year-old, who won gold at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in the T44 men's 100 metres event, lost his right leg below the knee when he was five years old after contracting group B meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia in October 1998.

The blade runner became patron of the foundation in 2012 and now wants others to help the charity continue its work supporting families, like his, affected by the disease, promote awareness and invest in more research to encourage vaccines.

Jonnie said: “MRF has made a real difference to people’s lives over 25 years and I want to make sure it can continue its work for another 25 years. So if you make only one New Year’s Resolution this December, make a commitment to donate or fundraise for this charity.

“There are lots of ways you can support us from taking part in a 25th Anniversary Walk, signing up to run with us at events across the UK or taking part in cycle rides.

"You could even mark your own special anniversary with a one-off donation or ask for donations instead of presents next year.

“Please do what ever you can to help.”

Visit the website www.meningitis.org for more information.