Ballymoney man Carl Monteith has taken on a prestigious voluntary role with a national meningitis charity after fighting back from his own family experience of the disease.
After over 27 years as a voluntary coordinator in the province, Carl will work alongside Meningitis Now’s regionally-based officers in Northern Ireland to help fund vital research, raise awareness and support others who have suffered from the disease.
The charity has relaunched its community ambassador programme following the merger between Meningitis UK and the Meningitis Trust to form Meningitis Now last year, and is delighted that Carl, with all the experience he brings to the role, will continue as the face of Meningitis Now in his local community.
The programme recognises the role committed supporters play in the charity’s work and invites them to be one of just 34 people around the UK to become a Community Ambassador.
Carl has raised awareness and funds to fight meningitis for the last 27 years following a chance meeting with charity founder Steve Dayman.
But, in a twist of fate three years later, his son Michael contracted viral meningitis at just three.
“Because we recognised the symptoms early and rushed him to hospital he made a complete recovery”, Carl said.
“Fundraising for the charity has been an absolute pleasure, and the generosity of people in Northern Ireland never ceases to amaze me.”
Carl added: “Becoming a Community Ambassador is a real honour.
“I’m delighted to support Meningitis Now and make a difference with their work in my local community.
“With their support no one in Northern Ireland will have to face meningitis alone.”
Steve Dayman, Meningitis Now executive founder, said: “We’re thrilled that Carl will remain the face of our charity in his local community, working alongside our regionally-based team members.
“With his support, enthusiasm and hard work we’ll be able to achieve so much more in our fight against meningitis in Northern Ireland.”
Meningitis Now is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.
It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.
Across the UK there are about 3,200 cases of bacterial meningitis and up to 6,000 cases of viral meningitis each year.
Meningitis Now fights the disease on all fronts by providing a powerful, united voice for people fighting meningitis.
Saving lives by funding vaccine and preventative research; Reducing the disease’s impact through awareness and fundraising.