Warwickshire farmer raises turkeys and funds for health charity

Warwick Turkey farmer Rod Adlington is unsurprisingly a very busy man, particularly at a time of the year when his business puts 10,000 birds on the tables of families across the UK. Now celebrating its 60th year in business, Rod represents the third generation of his family to rear award-winning poultry, and runs his business from his farm near Coventry.


Rod Adlington on his farm near Coventry

But alongside this Rod has committed himself to a cause very close to his heart: single-mindedly raising an incredible £115,000 for the charity Meningitis Now, in memory of his son Barney, who tragically died from meningitis in 2005. A year after his young son’s death from meningococcal (Men B) meningitis and septicaemia, Rod was approached by a farming colleague with the idea to hold a fundraising event so that the community could show their support.

The first ‘Barney’s Bash’, held a few months later was an unexpected success. Attended by several hundred local people and friends of the family it raised £25,000 for the then Meningitis Trust.Two subsequent events in 2007 and 2013 built on this winning formula of an informal yet thoroughly entertaining party and were even bigger and better.

To coordinate the latest and most ambitious event to date, Rod brought on board a skilled committee of friends and business people including the Beaty family, Olly Bertram and Duncan Nealon. Held again in a barn, the event featured popular local bands, Adam Henson from BBC 1’s Countryfile, two bars and a fantastic array of entertainment including a full monty show as well a host of other ‘bonkers’ entertainment. Attended by more than 1,200 people, they raised an impressive £60,000 for Meningitis Now making a significant impact on the fight against meningitis for many families similarly affected by the disease.

Rod said:“For us it was so important to find the right balance between putting on an enjoyable evening for everyone with the need to keep costs low and raise as much as possible for the charity.We simply couldn’t do this without the commitment and generosity of our friends and family and my colleagues within the farming community, and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for their support.”

Watch out for the next Barney’s Bash, coming soon! You can read more about Rod’s turkey farm here.

Beth Bothrill, Director of Fundraising at Meningitis Now said:“We cannot thank Rod enough for his fantastic support of the charity, and everything he has personally done to help raise awareness of the disease and to keep our vital services running. The commitment shown by Rod’s family, friends and the community is amazing, and embodies what really is important at this time of the year.”

The charity supports anyone affected by meningitis and can offer information and support through their free nurse-led helpline on 0808 80 10 388. For more information or to donate visit the website at www.MeningitisNow.org

Meningitis and Septicaemia Facts

  • Meningitis is usually caused by bacteria or viruses
  • Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord
  • Septicaemia is blood poisoning
  • Some bacteria that cause meningitis also cause septicaemia
  • Meningitis and septicaemia often happen together – it is vital to know all the signs and symptoms
  • The early signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia can be similar to ‘flu and include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle pain.
  • The more specific signs and symptoms include fever with cold hands and feet, drowsiness, confusion, pale blotchy skin, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights and a rash which doesn’t fade under pressure.
  • In babies, symptoms can also include being floppy and unresponsive, dislike of being handled, rapid breathing, an unusual, moaning cry and a bulging fontanelle (soft spot on the top of the head).
  • There are an estimated 3,200 cases of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia each year in the UK.
  • Following bacterial meningitis or septicaemia, one in ten people will die and at least a third of survivors will be left with lifelong after-effects such as hearing loss, epilepsy, limb loss or learning difficulties
  • Meningitis and septicaemia can affect anyone, of any age, at any time. However, babies and young children are most at risk, and young people between 15 – 24 years are also a higher risk group.
  • In the past 20 years, effective vaccines have been developed to give protection against SOME types of meningitis. These are offered to all babies and young children as part of the UK childhood immunisation programme. BUT there are not vaccines to protect against ALL types.
  • A vaccine to protect against meningococcal group B (Men B) disease, the most common cause of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia, was introduced into the UK childhood immunisation programme in September 2015.
  • If you suspect someone may be ill with meningitis or septicaemia, trust your instincts and get immediate medical help.
  • For more information visit www.MeningitisNow.org. Freephone helpline 0808 80 10 388.

About Meningitis Now

Meningitis Now is the founder of the meningitis movement and the only charity dedicated to fighting meningitis in the UK. With 30 years’ experience, we are working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.

Meningitis Now fights the disease on all fronts:

  • Providing a powerful, united voice for people fighting meningitis.
  • Saving lives by funding vaccine and preventative research.
  • Reducing the disease’s impact through awareness.
  • Rebuilding futures with dedicated support.
  • Fundraising to deliver our plans.
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