28-01-2016

Blog

As a local fitness and leisure trust, it is a key priority of LAL to get out and about chatting to the people in our community and engaging in local projects .  Yes, we have loads of things going on ourselves but we also like to support other people in their endeavours to make a difference to our health, wellbeing and fitness.

This year we’ve been encouraging our customers to get involved in the brilliant #MilesForMeningitis and with only one week to go we’re delighted to report that the overall project has been a huge success! YAY!

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You’ll all know Meningitis Ambassador Alan Glynn, I’m sure. Alan has spent the last five years tirelessly campaigning in order to raise awareness of the symptoms of meningitis after he and his wife Ruth sadly lost their baby girl, Alexis Rose, to meningitis in February 2011. This compelled them to set up a Trust Fund in her name which to date has raised an incredible £130,000.

In August Alan was honoured by the Meningitis Research Foundation, being named as a Scottish Ambassador for this leading charity.  A little later in the year, his daughter Christina, who is also Alexis’s twin sister was named as a child ambassador for the same charity.

Ambassadors are specially-selected, trained and resourced members across the country, all with their own reasons for working together towards the Foundation’s vision of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia. In the past six months Alan has carried out fundraisers, football matches, bag packs and so much more.  In fact, he and Christina have been happily campaigning non-stop!

Over 2015 Alan encouraged all of us to log our efforts for #MilesForMeningtis as we hit the gym, pool, running track or cycle route.  Here at LAL our members and customers logged everything from individual treadmill sessions to group Spin Classes! His aim was to raise awareness of Meningitis and the symptoms we all need to know.  

“Miles For Meningitis has been amazing. It finishes on 5th February and we reckon we’ll have about 200 medals to hand out. I am always humbled at how many people get behind the cause but this year I’ve been blown away.   There have been people posting on the Facebook page every day.

Mums and kids out walk, swimmers doing lengths, horse riders, spin classes with you guys, cyclists, runners… if you can travel a distance doing something, we’ve seen people clocking up miles for it!”

#MilesForMeningitis promotes one of the key messages that the Alexis Rose Trust carries; awareness. Alan is passionate about ensuring everything they do, wherever possible, carries the message. His mantra on this is singular – “If you’re not aware, you can’t act. It’s that simple.”

The campaign finishes on 5th February, a date that would have been Alexis’s 6th Birthday.  The good news is you’re not too late to pitch in with a pic and I know Alan would love to see how you clock up your miles while you hit the gym, pool or a class in the next week.

This year’s campaign starts on 15th February when Alan will be asking you to climb a few #MunrosForMeningitis! It will work in exactly the same way as ‘miles’ did where you can simply post your images on the Facebook page and tag yourself alongside the hashtag #MunrosForMeningitis.

“My first big challenge for the Alexis Rose Trust was the Three Peaks and from there I went on to do the Eight Peaks.  After that it was Ben Nevis and so the fund’s connection to Scottish hillsides goes right back to the start.  I know loads of people who love to bag munros so I’m hoping they’ll all get behind us and send the amazing photos of their climb, the views from the top and them with their friends up the side of a mountain.”

If you’re a keen hillwalker, or if you’d like to support the cause then simply click over to MunrosForMeningitis and post to your heart’s content! Remember to tag yourself so your friends can see the page, and use the hashtag.    

Here at LAL we’re busy pulling together a training programme for those of you who’d like to be fit enough to get up those bonny munros! Look out for it in next two weeks – if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss this, sign up to our newsletter and select fitness as an option!

We are delighted to offer Alan support in spreading his vital message and we’re thrilled that as well as helping us become more aware of this dreadful disease, his enthusiasm and drive has made us all work out that wee bit harder for our own overall health. That’s what we call a WIN WIN!

Well done Alan and the Alexis Rose Rememberance Fund!

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BE AWARE!

Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is more serious than viral meningitis. The symptoms usually begin suddenly and get worse rapidly. If you suspect bacterial meningitis, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Babies and young children

Babies and young children under five years of age are most at risk of developing bacterial meningitis.

A baby or young child with meningitis may:

  • have a high fever, with cold hands and feet
  • vomit and refuse to feed
  • feel agitated and not want to be picked up
  • become drowsy, floppy and unresponsive
  • grunt or breathe rapidly
  • have an unusual high-pitched or moaning cry
  • have pale, blotchy skin, and a red rash that doesn't fade when a glass is rolled over it (see below)
  • have a tense, bulging soft spot on their head (fontanelle)
  • have a stiff neck and dislike bright lights 
  • have convulsions or seizures

The above symptoms can appear in any order, and some may not appear at all.

Don't wait for a rash to develop. If your child is unwell and getting worse, seek medical help immediately.

In older children, teenagers and adults, the symptoms of meningitis can include:

a fever, with cold hands and feet 

  • vomiting
  • drowsiness and difficulty waking up
  • confusion and irritability
  • severe muscle pain
  • pale, blotchy skin, and a distinctive rash (although not everyone will have this)    
  • a severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • convulsion or seizures

Again, these symptoms can appear in any order, and not everyone will get all of them.

Don't wait for a rash to develop. If someone is unwell and has symptoms of meningitis, seek medical help immediately.

The Glass Test

If you press the side of a clear glass firmly against the skin and the rash doesn't fade, it's a sign of meningococcal septicaemia. A person with septicaemia may have a rash of tiny "pin pricks" that later develops into purple bruising. A fever with a rash that doesn't fade under pressure is a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate medical help.

Viral Meningitis

Most people with viral meningitis will have mild flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • headaches
  • fever (see above)
  • generally not feeling very well
  • In more severe cases of viral meningitis, your symptoms may include:
  • neck stiffness
  • muscle or joint pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia) 

Unlike bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis doesn't usually lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning).

A blotchy red rash that doesn't fade or change colour when a glass is pressed against it is a possible symptom of bacterial meningitis 

Bacterial or Viral Meningitis?

It's not possible to tell the difference between bacterial and viral meningitis from the symptoms alone.

Clinical tests are needed to distinguish between the two types of meningitis. Therefore, every case of suspected meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency.