FUNDRAISING NEWS: Meningitis Trust teams up with Centrica

CLAIRE SAMES

The Meningitis Trust has kicked off a year-long fundraising venture called "Every Second Counts

with corporate giant Centrica.

The partnership will aim to raise funds of at least £250,000 to help continue the fight against the disease as well as raise awareness about the thousands of people affected by meningitis every year.

Centrica, the parent company of the AA, British Gas, Goldfish and One.Tel, chose to work with the charity after a presentation by one of its supporters, Bryan Lewin, whose niece died of meningitis.

The trust had to compete with a string of charities vying for the company's seal of "Our Charity of the Year". The presentation struck a chord with the company's employees, who voted to support the trust this year.

A group of employees out of the 33,000-strong workforce have planned a programme of fundraising events across the UK which include inline skating from Lands End to John O'Groats, a Hebridean Island Hopping Challenge and an Every Second Counts Challenge Day where tasks are carried out against the clock.

A joint logo has been produced to help promote the partnership and Centrica is also producing a video about the disease.

Sir Roy Gardener, chief executive of Centrica, said: "What I've learnt about meningitis is that the symptoms can take hold rapidly with devastating effects. We want to ensure that people know to seek urgent medical attention.

We're determined to spread the message that fast action is vital."

Last year the company supported Cystic Fibrosis and managed to raise nearly £500,000 for the charity.

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