Visitors to this month’s annual Shepley Spring Festival will be made aware of the dangers of meningitis as they enjoy the music, dance and sunshine.
Volunteers from leading charity Meningitis Now will distribute thousands of credit card-sized symptoms cards throughout the Festival weekend.
It’s the idea of local supporter Ian Watkinson, who lost his baby grandson to the disease four years ago.
Baby Charlie Mann died of the disease at the age of just 15 weeks.
He was the baby son of Ian’s daughter Katy, who grew up in Shepley, and her husband Chris.
Charlie’s tragic story has been told in a new short film. Moving footage shows Charlie just days before he was struck down and features a poignant interview with his mum Katy.
The film by Meningitis Now shows Katy talking about the speed at which the disease struck her son.
Ian said: “Meningitis is a killer that can strike in just a few hours. The symptoms are difficult to spot and most of the population don’t know what they are. If parents or carers can quickly check out what’s wrong they can get immediate treatment, which will save lives or avoid the life-changing after effects of this dreadful disease.
“My family have been visiting Shepley Spring Festival since it started and know what a busy and lively event it is, so we are very grateful to the Festival organisers for their support. This is a great way to get the message out to thousands of visitors to the area, as well as to the people of the village.”
Symptom cards will be left on every seat in each of the four main venues before every concert, as well as in the bars and other locations.
Shepley Spring Festival is a three-day event starting on Friday, May 15. Over 60 artists from all over the world are performing, with headline acts including the legendary folk-rock band Steeleye Span and winners of the BBC R2 Best Live Act award The Demon Barbers.
Meningitis Now is a new charity, with almost 30 years’ experience, leading the fight against meningitis in the UK.