A MENINGITIS ambassador from Sale has signed up to take part in Meningitis Research Foundation’s 25th anniversary walk in May 2014.

Led by charity chief executive Christopher Head and other senior staff, the walk will begin at Sheffield University on May 23 and the charity hopes its supporters and members of the public will join them on an eight day challenge across the Peak District National Park.

The walk will pass through many historic towns and villages along the way: Hope, Bamford, Hathersage, Bakewell, Buxton, Castleton, Edale and Glossop and will end with a research discovery day at the National Meningitis Reference Laboratories in Manchester where walkers will be offered a guided tour around the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) Genome Library project – a world first in medical research.

Christine Etheridge, 48, who has been a regional ambassador for the charity since 2012, is the doing the last leg of the walk.

She said: “My son Ben contracted meningitis in 2004 at the age of three. He was critically ill in hospital for eight weeks but fortunately recovered and is doing really well.

“He is now 13 and still having ongoing treatment and operations on his legs due to the damage the illness caused. Since I joined the charity I have done a number of half marathons, awareness talks and interviews in local and national media.

“Last year I climbed Kilimanjaro - the most physical, toughest, mind over matter, amazing thing I have ever done in my life and raised over £6,000 for MRF. This is my next challenge and a lot closer to home.”

To sponsor Christine visit: www.justgiving.com/Christine-Etheridge1. Christopher Head, CEO of MRF said: “We are so grateful to Christine for taking on yet another challenge on our behalf and joining us in this Walk to mark our anniversary. We have spent over £17 million on research since we launched in 1989 and this research has helped save thousands of children and adults from death and severe disability. Since the charity began the number of deaths from meningitis in the UK has halved. None of it would have been possible without our supporters and their amazing fundraising efforts. It’s thanks to them we have been able to change the landscape of meningitis in the UK and Ireland. And it’s their ongoing support which will ensure we can share the expertise we’ve built up over 25 years with millions more around the world.”

The walk is suitable for both experienced hikers looking for a challenge or families looking for a Bank Holiday stroll.

Registration costs £10 per person or £25 per family and MRF is hoping each person/family will raise a minimum £100 sponsorship. The money raised will enable the charity to continue vital medical research into the treatment, detection and prevention of meningitis.

To register and get a pack containing a detailed itinerary of each day’s route, training guide, fundraising guide and sponsorship forms please contact Henry Barnes, Membership and Support Officer, on 01454 280411 or email: henryb@meningitis.org Alternatively walkers can register online at www.meningitis.org/walk.