Fundraisers prepare for annual memorial walk for toddler Sam Virgo

First published in News

PARENTS of meningitis victim Sam Virgo are preparing for the seventh annual walk in his memory.

The Berkeley toddler was struck down with the deadly disease in 2008, losing his life aged just two.

Since then parents Sue, 44 and James, 43, alongside friend Rose Hardwick, have organised an annual walk to remember Sam and raise funds for Meningitis Now.

Fundraising in Sam’s name has so far raised almost £90,000 to support the charity.

This year’s 10-mile fundraising walk goes from Thornbury to Berkeley on Saturday, May 3.

Walkers will leave the Black Horse pub at noon and walk along the A38 north to Berkeley, finishing at the Berkeley Arms Hotel at 4pm.

Refreshments, a raffle and disco follow into the evening.

Sam’s mother said the walk was an important memorial for her son, saying: “The walk is a perfect chance to unite people to remember Sam as well as raise vital funds and awareness to beat the disease that swiftly took him.

“We hope lots of people join us because we don’t want anyone else to feel the pain of losing a loved one to meningitis.”

There are already 60 sign ups, but the family hopes to again surpass 100 people and beat last year’s £7,000 raised for the Stroud-based charity.

Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman MBE, who launched the UK’s meningitis movement after losing his baby Spencer to the disease in 1982, thanked the family for their dedicated fundraising efforts.

He said: “Without them and others we could not continue our lifesaving work to fund pioneering preventative research, raise awareness and support survivors and their families.

“We wish everyone involved the best with the walk and the series of upcoming fundraisers.”

For more information on the walk call Sue on 01453 511724 or Rose on 07811 444593.

The annual Sam Virgo rounders tournament and summer fun day at Berkeley Football Field is being held on Saturday, July 19 this year from 10am to 11pm.

For more information or to sign up mixed teams, call Lisa on 07885 881145.

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