Volunteer Malachy stepping down

Volunteer Malachy stepping down

7 August 2019

THE annual Downpatrick street collection in aid of the Meningitis Research Foundation will take place on Saturday August 24. 

Eighty-year-old Malachy Doran and his dedicated group of volunteers will take to the streets of Downpatrick once again to raise much-needed funds to defeat the disease, fund new research and campaign for new vaccines, better treatment and greater awareness and support.

This will be the last collection for Malachy, who has worked tirelessly as an organiser and co-ordinator for over 20 years and the Meningitis.

Research Foundation would like to pay tribute to him and his family for their long-standing support. 

MRF is a cause particularly close to their hearts as it affected their grandson, Conor, when he was a baby.

It was an extremely distressing time for the family as Conor was critically ill, but thankfully he made a great recovery. However, they remain aware that not every family was as lucky as they were. 

Malachy would particularly like to pay tribute to all his collectors over the years and the people of Downpatrick for supporting his annual street collections. Last year an incredible 43 volunteers were involved in the street collection. 

To date, well over £30,000 has been raised from the Downpatrick area. Such has been Malachy’s dedication that on March 29 this year he was presented with an award from Newry, Mourne and Down Council for Outstanding Fundraising in aid of MRF.

MRF fundraising and support officer Paula Donaghy said: “On behalf of MRF, I would like to thank Malachy, his family and all his collectors for their commitment and dedication. 

“Malachy is an amazing man who has quietly organised and coordinated the collection for over 20 years and we are exceedingly grateful for his support. As a charity, we rely on the generosity and support of the local community to sustain our vital work. 

“All money raised will help us to continue to fund cutting-edge research into the prevention, detection and treatment of the disease, raise important awareness of the symptoms and support all those who have been affected. 

“Malachy has been a fantastic support to the organisation and it is his hope that as he retires someone from the area will take over the coordination of the Annual Street Collection and carry on his legacy.”

Mrs Donaghy said meningitis was a deadly disease which acts fast and is hard to detect. It can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time.

“The vision at MRF is of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia,” she continued. “A world where effective vaccinations can protect everyone. “A world where people who do get the diseases get the most effective diagnosis and treatments possible. A world where people affected, and their families, have the best support and information. 

“In 2015, around 380,000 people died of meningitis and it is estimated that over one million survived who now have to live with the after effects, such as limb loss or brain injury.

“Funds raised through street collections such as this one in Downpatrick go a long way towards helping MRF achieve these goals.”

Anyone who would like volunteer for the collection in Downpatrick on August 24 is asked to contact Dominic Doran on 07866 598537, email dominicdoran20@yahoo.co.uk.

For more information on meningitis and septicaemia, or the work of MRF, visit www.meningitis.org or telephone 028 9032 1283.