Students climb Kilimanjaro to raise funds for meningitis charity

Mountain climbers help aid research into killer disease.

Students from the University of Birmingham set themselves the ultimate challenge of climbing the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro, this summer to raise money for Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).

A group of eight students raised over £21,000 for the charity by completing the six day ordeal alongside groups from other universities in the UK. The trek was run by Student Adventures who create tailor made adventures for student alongside Birmingham Carnival RAG (Raising and Giving Society).

Joe Alderman, President of Birmingham Carnival RAG from the University of Birmingham said: “We are proud of our students who took part in this trek, again proving that charity fundraising doesn’t have to be boring. Carnival RAG has been raising money for local and national causes for 100 years, so it’s fantastic to see the good work continuing, especially for a cause so worthy as MRF, given the high rate of meningitis in the student population.”

Chris Head Chief Executive at MRF said: “A huge thank you to the students from the University of Birmingham.  The staggering amount of money they raised by climbing Kilimanjaro will make a huge difference and enable us to continue our vital research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia.”

Meningitis and Septicaemia can affect anybody at any time, striking in minutes and killing in hours. Students and young adults are the second most ‘at-risk’ group in the UK after children under five. Current vaccines don’t prevent all forms of the diseases so students need to learn to spot the symptoms.

Chris  went on to say: “Students are more vulnerable to the diseases as they are in new environments such as shared houses and halls of residences and are exposed to greater levels of bacteria and viruses. Traditionally cases begin to rise amongst this group in the autumn and winter so it’s vital that all students know what the symptoms of meningitis are so they can tell the difference between them and more common flu-like illnesses or just a hangover”

MRF provide a unique free iPhone app for students which includes a symptoms checker, emergency hospital information, latest news and links to further information. To find out more visit:  Alternatively the MRF endorsed ‘Symptom Scenes’ is an incredibly playable game that will have you reeling off the symptoms in no time

Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, is the tallest free standing mountain in the world and stands at 5,895m. Kibo, the snow capped peak, is one of the most recognisable sights in the world of adventure and is a huge challenge for those prepared to tackle the landscape and the altitude to reach the summit.

Meningitis Research Foundation are always looking for people (not just students) to take on challenge events so if you would like further information events in 2014 please  contact a member of the Fundraising Team on: 01454 281814.