LAST February The Gazette launched a campaign with Meningitis UK to help find a vaccine against the most common strain of the disease, meningitis group B.

The campaign aims to raise £40,000 by the end of this month. This amount will fund the work of a vaccine researcher for a whole year.

Since the launch of the campaign local people have been pledging their support and doing their bit to help raise the cash. The campaign has raised £31,000 so far.

IN A FINAL push to raise money for the campaign, the Gazette is appealing to all its readers to get cooking and take part in a giant bake sale.

During the last week of February the Gazette is asking all schools, playgroups, businesses, councils or other organisations to hold a bake sale in aid of Meningitis UK.

Skip Walker, editor of the Gazette, said: "We are thrilled with the support we have had from Gazette readers with the campaign so far. To have raised more than £30,000 is a fantastic achievement and it almost seems greedy to ask for more.

"However, with just a little bit more we could actually pay for the researcher who is so urgently needed to work on finding a vaccine for meningitis.

"I hope that lots of you at work will feel it is worthwhile to put on your pinnies for an hour or so and join our Grand Bake Sale to help eat into our small shortfall. If anyone would like to buy a jar of my own marvellous marmalade I still have a few jars left!"

Staff at the Gazette will be baking cakes to sell in the office and joining the campaign will be staff at South Gloucestershire Council, who have volunteered to hold bake sales at all the authority’s offices in the district.

A spokesman for the authority said: "South Gloucestershire Council is delighted to be able to support the Gazette’s chosen charity of the year, Meningitis UK.

"The council will be holding a Bake Sale in the last week of February to raise money for the charity. Staff can bake delicious cakes and biscuits for sale with all proceeds going to Meningitis UK.

"Meningitis UK is a South Gloucestershire-based charity doing fantastic work searching for a vaccine for this disease and we are proud to back the Gazette in helping to raise £40,000 for the charity."

Next week the Gazette will publish a roll of honour of all groups and companies pledging to take part in a bake sale at the end of the month.

To get your group mentioned email by Tuesday, February 16.