Andy Burnham

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has become a Patron for Greater Manchester charity, the Believe & Achieve Trust. Set up in 2014, the charity continues the work of a very special 18 year old, Alex Williams, who died in 2012 from the after-effects of meningitis which he contracted when he was seven years old.

Alex, who proudly carried the Olympic Torch in Ashton in 2012, believed passionately in two things:

  • Helping disadvantaged children and young people in Greater Manchester to access activities that help them to grow and feel included
  • Raising life-saving awareness of meningitis
  • Alex’s motto was “Believe & Achieve” and that is how he lived his life, encouraging all the children and young people that he met to do the same. Having heard Andy Burnham say “Believe in yourself, there is nothing holding you back” at a school sports award event in 2018, Alex’s mum Alison Williams approached Andy to be a Patron.

    As Shadow Health Secretary, Andy was also involved in the successful campaign to introduce the latest meningitis vaccine, MenB, and, having met a number of families whose lives had been touched by meningitis, he recognises the importance of people still being vigilant for the signs and symptoms of this life changing disease. And as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in the last Labour government, Andy championed the health and social benefits of sport and physical activity.

    Alison said: “We are so pleased that Andy has agreed to be a Patron of our small charity. Andy’s passion and commitment to encouraging participation in sports and activities is clear and we are excited about how his support will enable us to achieve so much more through our events and grants programmes and also reach more people with our life-saving meningitis awareness information."