We are delighted to announce that an exciting project which will help families affected by encephalitis has been given the green light, thanks to a £147,500 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The three year project is titled Life After Encephalitis and will help us to “engage with more diverse, hard to reach and under-represented groups” as well as bring them together through new and existing events.

The grant - raised by National Lottery players - also contributes towards the cost of a new staff member to help meet the rising demand for our support services.

“This generous award from The National Lottery Community Fund is the perfect start to World Encephalitis Day and our 25th anniversary year," said Dr Ava Easton, Chief Executive of the Encephalitis Society.

“It arrives at such a critical stage for us as a charity - demand for the support we provide is growing and the way that we deliver that help is changing as well.

“This funding means that we can focus on traditional forms of support, such as recruiting a new team member, and further improve the award-winning digital elements of our work which will help us reach a broader audience who prefer finding their information online.

“The National Lottery grant will also help run a range of events to bring together people affected by encephalitis, their families, and healthcare professionals. This will provide them with the opportunity to share experiences and support each other through recovery, so they can have a positive outlook.”

Key details of Life After Encephalitis

*The project is split over three years

*Development of an enhanced communication strategy to engage with hard to reach and under-represented groups.

*The recruitment of a Support Service Assistant

*The annual hosting of UK events My Brain & Medicine, My Brain & Family Resilience Day, and My Brain: My Story.

*The introduction of a fourth annual event, working title My Brain & Moving Forward.

*The development of a brand new self-management programme – to address the main areas of challenge and disability for those affected by encephalitis.

*Further development of a Family Resilience eLearning programme which will focus on positive things families can do to build resilience and deal with the challenges that life after encephalitis can bring.

*Development of ‘My Brain & Me’ – an online curated collection of first-hand experiences of people affected by the condition.

Dr Easton added: “Encephalitis can affect anyone and, for that reason, we have to provide a flexible service that can support people no matter where they may be in the UK or the rest of that world.”

“It is a challenge but, thanks to National Lottery players, we can take a giant stride towards providing even better support for individuals and families who are coming to terms with life after encephalitis.”

Joe Ferns, UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this project and celebrating the good news alongside the Encephalitis Society’s 25th anniversary and World Encephalitis Day.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, social events and online resources will bring together people affected by this condition. They will be able to share experiences and support each other to thrive by overcoming challenges in their lives and reaching their full potential.”