Record numbers at annual meningitis memorial walk

First published in News

THE SUN shone as dozens of fundraisers took to the roads in memory of a special little boy who died from meningitis.

Berkeley boy Sam Virgo died in 2008 after contracting meningitis when he was just two.

His parents Sue, 44, and James, 43, have organised an annual memorial walk with their friend Rose Hardwick for the past six years.

This weekend saw the seventh annual walk take place in aid of Meningitis Now.

Around 200 people joined the 10-mile walk from Thornbury to Berkeley on Saturday (May, 3).

Supporters decked out in bright orange Meningitis Now t-shirts set off from the Black Horse pub at noon and hiked along the A38 to the Berkeley Arms Hotel.

It was the biggest walk the family have so far seen and £1,585 was raised on the day alone, with donations and other sponsorship still to be collected.

Sam’s mum expressed her thanks to those who joined in each year, saying: “This walk holds a very special place in our hearts and doing it along such great people makes it worth every blister, pulled muscle and trip to A&E.”

Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman MBE launched the UK’s meningitis movement after losing his baby Spencer to the disease in 1982.

Speaking about the event, he said: “It was touching to see that Sue and James rallied so many people for the walk in Sam’s memory.

“It was amazing to see such a sea of orange – they were certainly noticeable on the A38 – that helped raise awareness of the charity.

“Every penny raised will help fight the dreaded disease in Sam’s name to protect future generations.”

The Meningitis Now Sam Virgo Forever Fund currently stands at more than £88,000, which has all been raised through events in the past six years.

To donate to the fund, visit

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