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Family’s meningitis fundraising campaign reaches £100,000 mark

Flashback. Ryan Sweatman with his brother Danny and sisters Carly and Holly.

Flashback. Ryan Sweatman with his brother Danny and sisters Carly and Holly.

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A family’s fundraising campaign to push for the meningitis B vaccine to be made available free on the NHS to all children, not just babies, has raised about £100,000 in total, after its latest events.

Fundraising events were held at Aylsham High School and Oxnead Hall: Pictures: Danny Sweatman Fundraising events were held at Aylsham High School and Oxnead Hall: Pictures: Danny Sweatman

An awareness week and a charity ball raised an extra £10,000 for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Both events were the idea of Aylsham High School teacher and father-of-two Danny Sweatman, from Rackheath, whose two brothers died from the disease.

Danny’s 19-year-old brother Ryan died from meningococcal septicaemia in 2012. In 1991, the family also lost another brother aged seven weeks to pneumococcal meningitis, a different strain of the disease.

Mr Sweatman, 31, said: “I have been blown away by the generosity and support shown by my incredible family, friends, colleagues & the community during the awareness week and the ball, and everyday since Ryan passed away.

“Lives will be saved because of the awareness week. Whether it’s the money we’ve raised to support the Foundation with vital research or simply having the knowledge of what signs and symptoms to look out for.

“Early indications are that we may have just reached the £10,000 target which means we will surpass £100,000 in the fund. Speechless.”

The awareness week was held at Aylsham High School and the charity ball at Oxnead Hall, near Aylsham.

Mr Sweatman presented assembly at the school to introduce the week and inform students what meningitis is.

He added: “I talked about how it has affected my family and I and what we can do to support the Meningitis Research Foundation. In form time, students then wrote facts, signs and symptoms of meningitis on butterflies that we displayed down our main corridor throughout the week.

“i cannot thank everyone enough for their support. In particular, a huge thanks to those who helped me run the awareness week, which raised nearly £4000 and counting - Emmalucy Auber, Natasha-Jane McGlinchey, Laura Marie, Julie-Anne, Zulu, Simon Claxton, Sue Tartt and Alison Barker, as well as Sue Heys for her scrumptious cakes in the staff room every Friday to support the fund. To the ball committee, which raised £6000, to Sue Tartt, Sue Heys, Tanya Wiseman, Annabel Crook, Hazel Martin and Danny Saunders.”

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