The founder of the Meningitis Now charity has visited Fylde to show his support and appreciation for the fund-raising efforts in memory of St Annes youngster Edward Dee.
The 10-year-old pupil of Clifton Primary School (pictured inset) died last December after contracting meningitis and since then the Edward Dee Forever Fund set up by his family has raised more than £30,000 to support Meningitis Now’s ongoing research and campaigning for greater awareness of the disease.
Steve Dayman, who started Meningitis Now almost 35 years ago after the death of his young son Spencer, visited Clifton along with a number of other local schools.
His visit to Clifton coincided with the final stages of the Edward Dee Clifton Triathlon, in which pupils took part in swimming, cycling and running to raise cash for the Edward Dee Forever Fund.
Steve was accompanied by Edward’s parents Justin and Elizabeth and the triathlon was followed by a balloon release in memory of Edward.
“It’s families like the Dees up and down the country who are the driving force behind our fund-raising and awareness activities,” said Steve.
“As a charity that receives no government funding we rely on the energy and enthusiasm of our supporters to raise the vital funds we need to continue our lifesaving and life-changing work.”
Clifton headteacher Rachel Legge said that so far the school has raised around £2,000 for the fund in Edward’s name, adding: “Edward was a true inspiration and we felt compelled to honour his memory with an event that he would have been proud to be part of.”
Edward’s mum Elizabeth said: “Edward has left a huge void in our lives which can never be filled. We miss him more than words can say.
“We, and the community we live in are devastated by his loss and are determined to make something positive come out of Edward’s death, working really hard to raise funds and raise awareness of this dreadful disease.”
Along with raising awareness of the disease and fund-raising, Steve also used the visit to call for local volunteers to help at the Lytham Festival, at which the Edward Dee Forever Fund will be charity partner.
The Edward Dee Forever Fund for Meningitis Now will be charity partner for the West End Proms, the festival’s climax concert on Sunday, August 6 and volunteers can get involved in a range of activities by contacting Roya Armstrong, the charity’s north-west fund raising officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.