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Students organise yellow ribbon charity tribute

* 16 February 2004 *

Students organise yellow ribbon charity tribute

Yellow ribbons will be sold at the University of Sussex from Tuesday (17 Feb) to raise money for meningitis research in memory of Natalie Naylor.

Students and staff arriving on Tuesday morning will see large yellow ribbons on campus trees and buildings, drawing attention to the sale of lapel ribbons by student volunteers. The campaign has been organised by friends of Natalie Naylor, the 20-year-old student who died from meningitis last month.

Natalie was a member of the University of Sussex rugby team and many of her sporting peers, along with friends and fellow students, will be helping to promote the yellow ribbons across campus. Lizzie Brown, rugby team captain, said: "The women's rugby team was fortunate enough to have Natalie join us this season as a new recruit. She was a bubbly, happy and beautiful girl. By wearing the yellow ribbons, we can keep Natalie with us and, at the same time, raise awareness about meningitis in the hope of preventing such a tragedy happening again. We urge everyone to buy a ribbon or make a donation to help us celebrate Natalie and raise money to help research the illness that so cruelly stole our friend."

The student fundraisers have the full support of the University and the Students' Union. Vice-Chancellor Alasdair Smith said: "The University backs the campaign organised by Natalie's friends. It is a fitting tribute to a popular student that will also raise funds for vital research into meningitis, and one to which the university community will undoubtedly give its wholehearted support."

The ribbons will be sold for £1 each to support meningitis research and the Natalie Naylor Trust, established by Natalie's parents to support meningitis research and raise awareness of the disease.

* Notes for editors *

  1. Natalie died at her family's local hospital in Carshalton, Surrey on January 24. Blood tests (reported on Tuesday January 27) showed that she had the group B strain of the meningococcal bacteria.
  2. There is no available vaccine for the group B strain of the disease, which is the most common cause of meningitis in the UK.
  3. Yellow ribbons go on sale first thing Tuesday, but lunchtime might be a better time for any film crews/photographers as it will be busier. Please call the Press office to arrange.
  4. Press Office contacts:
    Jacqui Bealing or Alix Macfarlane or Maggie Clune Tel 01273 678888 or Fax 01273 877456; or

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