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The Board of Trustees

Trustees are elected to the Board at the Annual Members Meeting. The usual procedure is for prospective Trustees to contact the Society and initially attend Board meetings as observers. Meetings are usually held in York 4 times a year with all reasonable expenses paid, including overnight accommodation. A majority of Board members must have been personally affected by Encephalitis either themself, a family member or a friend. Professionals and others with an interest in Encephalitis are sought to join the Board according to identified skill-gaps.

The Board of Trustee's annually set and review a 10 year strategic plan - the executive summary can be found below: 

2014-2023 Strategic Plan Executive Summary

Tim Spring - Acting Chair

Tim is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence with a particular interest in the diagnosis and treatment of encephalitis.  He qualified as a solicitor in 1982 and since 1990 has undertook clinical negligence work almost exclusively. For 8 years he was the Course Director of the UK's first University accredited clinical risk management programme and is a Founding Director and Trustee of the Association of Litigation and Risk Managers (ALARM).  Tm leads a small team of clinical negligence specialists at Moore & Blatch Solicitors. 


David Ripper - Secretary

David has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years in the private, public, and voluntary sector.  He is currently an independent consultant advising organisations how to use technology to add value and help achieve their goals.  David lives in Lincolnshire and is married with one son.  In his spare time he enjoys watching rugby and sailing.

Being an organisation that is trying to reach out across the world with limited resources, David felt that his knowledge of IT could be particularly useful to The Society helping them to enhance their use of technology to communicate online. He also feels that having no direct experience of Encephalitis will help the board to provide the perspective of someone with no prior knowledge of the condition.


Leigh Palmer - Treasurer

My connection with encephalitis is an indirect one through my wife, Kim.

Kim’s father died from encephalitis just two weeks after the diagnosis when he was only 36 years old – just 6 weeks before her twelfth birthday. Her mum was 33, and her brother was 10. It is thought that he contracted encephalitis whilst run down from a period of repeated transatlantic flights, starting with cold like symptoms and initially diagnosed as a problem with his balance before a correct diagnosis.

This all happened two years before we met.

It wasn’t until we had been married for a few years that Kim first came across the existence of the Encephalitis Support Group, as it was called then, from a womens magazine. She was very keen to become a member and support the group as she felt that there had been no support around when her father died – not even bereavement counselling.

It was in one of the newsletters that a call was sent out looking for an accountant to become a trustee and treasurer. Whilst not qualified at the time, I was ‘qualified by experience’ and subsequently volunteered my services and became treasurer more than ten years ago. And I am still here . . . I hope I have been able to use my experience to the benefit of the Society

Since becoming a trustee I have now qualified as a Chartered Accountant. We live in a farmhouse in the Suffolk countryside and have two daughters and various animals, and support all things green.


Caroline Macintosh

Caroline is a Digital Marketing and PR Manager who has worked and lived in London for the last 11 years. 10 years ago Caroline's father suffered from Viral Encephalitis and from then on has always wanted to use her communication skills both online and offline so that more and more people know about Encephalitis. She has a huge amount of experience in the third sector, in both corporate and individual fundraising, having spent time working in Wealth Management and as a Celebrity liaison and publicist. Her current role is using her Russian language skills for the European arm of Pernod Ricard, a global spirits company. 


Adele MacKinlay

My amazing mother, Margaret, became seriously ill with herpes simplex encephalitis in 1998 at the age of 49.  Encephalitis was not identified for some considerable time after Margaret became ill, and whilst she ‘survived’ (just about), the quality of her life was awful - she had no concept of who she was, where she was or why she was.  My father cared for her 24 hours / day although she didn’t recognize him or any other member of the family.  She died in 2003.  The support of The Encephalitis Society was critical to my family in terms of understanding an illness of which we had previously not heard and supporting the whole family through some very dark days. The Encephalitis Society has been very dear to our hearts ever since and being a Trustee on the Board is a great privilege for me.  I am passionate about supporting the Encephalitis Society.

I am a HR Executive, currently working on strategic HR initiatives at Pace University, New York.  Prior to moving to the US in August 2013, I was  Chief Operating Officer at Aston University, responsible for the welfare of staff and students.  Prior to moving to Higher Education in 2009, my career was spent primarily in the Financial Services sector. I studied languages at Salford University and am currently studying for a Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership.

I am the proud mother of three young children and two Jack Russell terriers and am devoted to my husband and family.  I enjoy hill walking, running, ski-ing, reading and all things Italian.


Dr Benedict Michael

I currently work at the Center for Immune and Inflammatory Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital and am an Honorary Medical Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
I obtained an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in 2008 and was awarded an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship in 2010. I obtained and NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship in 2015, and was awarded an Academy of Medical Sciences grant and the British Medical Association Vera Down grant for Neuroscience in 2016. 
I completed a PhD on the neuroimmunological response in viral encephalitis. I trained in Medicine in Liverpool, and helped set up the NHS Northwest Neurological Infectious Diseases Research Network and Brain Infections UK (www.BrainInfectionsUK.org) and am a main author for the ABN/BIA National Encephalitis Guideline.
My research interests include: Neuro-immunological responses, particularly to infection, and the clinical management of central nervous system infections.
I am a Trustee for the Encephalitis Society and work closely with the Meningitis Research Foundation, the International Encephalitis Working Group and the National Patient Safety Agency to promote public and patient involvement in research and clinical practice development. 
I run the NeuroPACES course, assist in co-ordinating the NeuroID course, and lead the development of the NeuroAccess programme to improve neurological education in two sites in sub-Saharan Africa, featured in the Lancet Neurology.


Fiona Twycross

Fiona Twycross lives in South London and has been a London Assembly Member since May 2012. She is Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority as well as the Assembly’s Economy Committee. Prior to her election Fiona worked for the health charity Diabetes UK as Head of Governance and Stakeholder Engagement. Fiona campaigns on a range of issues including Food Poverty, low pay and child poverty. As a teenager, Fiona had encephalitis as a complication of mumps and made a full recovery going on to study at Edinburgh University. She has a doctorate in Scandinavian Literature.


The Encephalitis Society is the operating name of the Encephalitis Support Group which is a registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee.

Registered in England and Wales No. 4189027. Registered Office as above. Registered Charity No. 1087843.