A Galway mum who lost her daughter to meningitis has been chosen by Vodafone for its ‘World of Difference’ programme – paying for her to volunteer for her chosen charity, the Meningitis Trust, for three months.
Siobhan Carroll, whose four year-old daughter, Aoibhe, died suddenly of meningitis in April 2008, is one of just 30 people across Ireland to be chosen for the placement – working for different charities and organisations across the country.
Siobhan and her husband Noel are active volunteers for the Meningitis Trust already. With the help of family and friends and members of their local community in Oranmore and Galway, they have raised over €40,000 in Aoibhe’s memory, distributed thousands of potentially lifesaving meningitis information leaflets and symptoms cards to local schools and crèches, and organised a number of events. Siobhan has also taken part in the Dublin mini marathon for the charity; something which she plans to do again this year.
Speaking from the rooftop at Arnotts at Vodafone’s ‘World of Difference on Ice’ party for the 30 winners,Carole Nealon, General Manager for the Meningitis Trust says; “We are absolutely delighted that Siobhan has been selected for this placement. We have worked with Siobhan and Noel and their family since their terrible loss and they are a wonderful family who selflessly do so much to ensure others don’t go through what they have. Siobhan is over the moon to have been selected too – and we can’t wait to start working with her on this.
Carole continues; “As a charity, we are reliant on voluntary contributions to continue our work, so having Siobhan on board for three months is incredibly valuable to us. We already feel that she is part of our team, but this placement will mean that Siobhan can build on all of her and her family’s hard work so far. We are excited about what we can achieve in these three months together and we are grateful to Vodafone for this unique opportunity”.
Meningitis is a life changing disease as many as 34,000 people living in the Ireland today have had either viral or bacterial meningitis – many of whom have been left to cope with the after-effects every day.
The Meningitis Trust supports anyone affected by this life-changing disease through its free professional aftercare and support services. These include a 24-hour helpline (1800 523 196 from Republic and 0800 028 1828 from Northern Ireland ), staffed by nurses, counselling, bereavement support and home visits. The Trust also distributes thousands of leaflets, posters, symptoms cards, information sheets and other materials which raise awareness of meningitis.