Glasgow woman takes Mighty Strides to fight against meningitis

Margaret McLaren (left) with fellow Community Ambassadors Alison Yelland and James Duff, and Margaret's daughter Morven, who are all part of a team raising funds for Meningitis Now.
Margaret McLaren (left) with fellow Community Ambassadors Alison Yelland and James Duff, and Margaret's daughter Morven, who are all part of a team raising funds for Meningitis Now.

A Glasgow woman has helped put together a team of 52 charity supporters taking on this year’s Edinburgh Kiltwalk to fight back against the devastation of meningitis.

Margaret McLaren has been joined by Alison Yelland, from Edinburgh, both volunteer Community Ambassadors for charity Meningitis Now, in putting together Team Tangerine to take on the Mighty Stride and help them celebrate significant birthdays this year – Alison’s on the very day of the kiltwalk.

They’ll be joined by the charity’s founder Steve Dayman, who has raised over £2 million for the charity’s research, awareness and support work through previous walks, and chief executive Tom Nutt, for the marathon walk taking in all the iconic sights of the Scottish capital.

Also joining them will be Alison’s daughter Fiona and Margaret’s daughter Morven, who are both Young Ambassadors for Meningitis Now, and newly-appointed Community Ambassador James Duff, from Glasgow.

Family members and friends make up other team members and Alison is keen for more supporters to sign up and join the team.

“The main aim for us apart from raising some funds and awareness of meningitis is also to raise the profile of Meningitis Now in Scotland and the work that we do to support families who have been affected by meningitis,” Margaret said.

“I lost my nephew Calum to bacterial meningitis in October 2007 when he was 12. Taking part in the Kiltwalk will not only be for Meningitis Now but to remember him too – he inspires me every day to continue my work as an ambassador for the charity.”

Alison added: “We’ve both have big birthdays this year so decided to take on the Kiltwalk to mark the occasion.

“We’re really looking forward to it – I’m sure it will be an emotional but memorable day and we’d love as many supporters as possible to join us.”

Fiona contracted bacterial meningitis in October 2011 when she was 15. Fortunately she made a complete recovery.

The Edinburgh Kiltwalk takes place on Sunday, September 16, and the Mighty Stride covers 24 miles. Those taking part get a medal and there are entertainments and refreshments throughout the walk and at the finish.

Thanks to support from The Hunter Foundation charity walkers will receive not only their sponsorship funds but an additional 40 per cent fundraising boost.

Gillian Marshall, Scotland Community Fundraising Officer at Meningitis Now, said: “We’re so grateful to Margaret, Alison, Morven, Fiona, James and everyone on the team for their support.

“As a charity that receives no government funding we rely entirely on the generosity, energy and initiative of our supporters to raise the vital funds we need to carry out our lifesaving and life-changing work.

“Their efforts will make a real difference to those in Scotland who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.”

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.

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.

For more information on the work of the charity, visit the Meningitis Now website

Find out more about the kiltwalk at the Kiltwalk website

Contact Gillian by emailing gillianm@meningitisnow.org if you would like to join Team Tangerine.