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Mother and campaigner hosts charity event to raise money and awareness of Group B Strep

PUBLISHED: 16:38 18 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:38 18 August 2018

Ame Jenkins with daughters Lilee and Ellyse and Princess Moana Picture: ALLEN BLASDELL

Ame Jenkins with daughters Lilee and Ellyse and Princess Moana Picture: ALLEN BLASDELL

Allen Blasdell

A family fun day – organised by a Suffolk mother and campaigner – was held in Bury St Edmunds to raise money for a charity fighting a deadly bug that attacks babies at birth.

Ame Jenkins with daughters Lilee and Ellyse Picture: ALLEN BLASDELLAme Jenkins with daughters Lilee and Ellyse Picture: ALLEN BLASDELL

The event at Nowton Park on Sunday, August 12, was held in aid of Group B Strep Support and to raise awareness of the condition, which can kill infants or leave them blind.

Ame Jenkins, from Rickinghall, who is a volunteer ambassador with the charity, has been raising awareness of Group B Strep since her daughter Lilee May was born with the condition in 2010.

Shortly after birth, the newborn was rushed into care after contracting meningitis and septicaemia.

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a normal bacterium carried by 20-40% of adults, usually with no symptoms or side-effects.

Participants at the Strep B Stomp event at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds Picture: ALLEN BLASDELLParticipants at the Strep B Stomp event at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds Picture: ALLEN BLASDELL

Ame hosted the Strep B Stomp event, which included a family fun run and live music, with support from Group B Strep Support and the charity’s Suffolk fundraising group.

Ame, 26, said: “Ever since Lilee’s birth I have wanted to do as much as possible to raise awareness and to get people talking about Group B Strep infections.

“Thankfully Lilee is now a healthy and happy seven-year-old, but things could have gone very differently.

“The Strep B Stomp was an ideal way to get all my friends and family involved and to raise funds and awareness in the area.”

Fun runners enjoy themselves at the event Picture: ALLEN BLASDELLFun runners enjoy themselves at the event Picture: ALLEN BLASDELL

Family entertainment at the event included the band Less than Perfect, a Princess Moana courtesy of A Fairytale Fantasia, and a soft play bus by Fun Bus Play Bus, as well as face painting, food and drink, bouncy inflatables and a raffle.

Jane Plumb, chief executive at Group B Strep Support said: “It was a wonderful family event with fun runners taking part of all ages, from tiny tots in buggies to grandparents.

“We are so grateful to everyone who took part, to the businesses that came along and provided entertainment and catering, and to Ame for all her hard work.”

In the UK, all pregnant women are not routinely offered testing for GBS carriage.

The start of the fun run at the Nowton Park event Picture: ALLEN BLASDELLThe start of the fun run at the Nowton Park event Picture: ALLEN BLASDELL

Specific tests for detecting GBS carriage are increasingly being made available within the NHS, and are widely available privately.

For more information about GBS and the charity, call 01444 416176 or visit www.gbss.org.uk

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