Raising awareness Our blog Celebrating our 25th anniversary Happy birthday to us! Around 160 people raised a glass to the Encephalitis Society in central London as we celebrated our 25th anniversary party on June 20. The evening shone even brighter when we were presented with a cheque for £21,600 and unveiled a new film which we hope will help us raise awareness of encephalitis among the public. Dr Fiona Twycross, a Deputy Mayor of London and a trustee with the Encephalitis Society, started the party which was taking place at City Hall, the home of the Lord Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Speeches then came from Dr Ava Easton and Professor Tom Solomon who talked about the impact of encephalitis research and the Encephalitis Society over the past 25 years. Fittingly, research was a key theme at a party that fell in the middle of our inaugural Encephalitis Research Month. Throughout June, we have spoken about the need for funding in encephalitis research. Many other neurological conditions - including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, and bacterial meningitis – are less common than encephalitis in many areas of the world and yet benefit from more name recognition and funding. Click on the image to see and download photos from the birthday party Thank you to Paul Wicks, Liz Isles and Andrew Cleaton for the photographs To help us start addressing this imbalance, James Liptrott and his son, Toby, presented a £21,600 cheque to the Encephalitis Society which will be used to fund two research studies in Brazil and Cameroon. The LIVE Foundation was set up in memory of James' wife, Lisa, who was affected by viral encephalitis, with the intention of raising money for encephalitis research. The birthday party was also a fitting time to premiere a new film that we hope will go a long way to raising awareness of encephalitis. Clair’s Story follows the story of Clair Bennett, who was a computer analyst when she fell ill with encephalitis. Her parents, Mark and Penny, talk about their daughter, her illness and the impact that it has had on them and their family. Julia Clark, our Director of Engagement, said: For our 25th anniversary, we wanted to make a film specifically for people who may never have heard of the word, 'encephalitis'. Clair and her family were very kind in allowing us to use their story to put together this film. We hope you will share the film on your social media and among your friends, family and work colleagues.