Maureen Ellson, one of the Northern Ireland ambassadors from the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF), has been named the recipient of the Halifax Giving Extra Award.
The award is given to 66 local winners throughout the U.K. The awards are meant to honor and reward people who do extra to give back to their local communities.
Ellson was chosen for her work to raise awareness of meningitis in her local area. She has also been crucial to the campaigning process for introducing the MenB vaccine, raising thousands of dollars over the last 13 years and promoting the MRF’s #StopTheSpread campaign. In addition, she has raised thousands of dollars by planning fundraising activities and events.
Ellson has lobbied for her local health minister and MLA. She planned an emotive “Teddy Bear Roadshow” at Belfast’s Children’s Hospital.
On Sept. 15, the MenB vaccine was included in the national childhood immunizations schedule.
Ellson also presented the chief medical officer of Ireland with the #StopTheSpread campaign. This campaign encourages freshers and school leavers to receive the MenACWY vaccine because of the rise in MenW cases. This is especially important to Ellson, because her son is part of the “at risk” group for MenW infections.