Two leading charities, the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK have announced their intention to merge in April.
The move will create the UK’s biggest meningitis charity and bring together expertise in research and prevention, with established support services and after-care.
A shadow Board of Trustees was established in October 2012 to put together a merger plan and this will become the Board for the new charity in April.
Alastair Irvine, Chairman Designate of the Board of Trustees of the merged organisation said “This is a huge opportunity for two leading meningitis charities to join forces and have an even greater impact on behalf of our beneficiaries. We have worked in partnership over the last four years and together we are committed to fighting meningitis in the UK.”
The merger will enable both charities to continue funding their key areas of focus – preventative research and lifelong support – whilst building on the education and awareness work of both organisations. Both charities are based in the South West of England.
Meningitis UK Founder - Steve Dayman said: “Since losing my son to meningitis 30 years ago, it's been our mission to fund research into preventing meningitis and we have achieved so much with three vaccines in place. But every week, six people still die and families need our continued support. By coming together we will have a greater impact in the UK, funding not only pioneering research programmes, but providing the best education and support services available.”
Meningitis Trust President - Andrew Harvey said: “We want to create a sustainable charity with a long term future and ensure that every pound raised makes a difference. We have been working closely with Meningitis UK for some time and I truly believe that the combination of the supporters of both charities will be an unstoppable force in the fight against meningitis.”
There are over 500,000 people living in the UK today who have had meningitis and thousands of families have had to face a future without a loved one. There are still more than 3,000 cases of bacterial meningitis every year and many more cases of viral meningitis. 10% of those who contract bacterial meningitis will die (approx. 300 per year) and a further 15% left with debilitating after-effects requiring lifelong support.
Existing Meningitis Trust Chief Executive, Sue Davie, has been appointed CEO Designate of the merged charity. Once the legal merger has taken place in April, the charities will begin to integrate systems and back-office.
The merged charity will initially work under existing names and brands following the merger in April, with a new-look charity being launched towards the end of the year.