World Encephalitis Day is over for another year!

And what a special day it was – we turned social media #Red4WED, raised awareness on radio, television and news websites, AND launched a new report which could save and improve millions of lives today and into the future.

It was a very frantic 48 hours or so.

There were lots of moving parts and if you even so much as blinked, you may have missed some of the best bits. 

But, because we’re nice like that, we have put together a list of 22 highlights.

Why 22? Because what better number to celebrate 22/2/2022!

Thank you to each and every one of you for your support during World Encephalitis Day – it means everything to us that you would share your stories, photos and videos and help to raise awareness.


Andrew and the Encephalitis Society team

1. Encepha-wotsit?

Our Ambassador Charlotte Leeming took the streets of Leeds to pose a very important question – how do you pronounce encephalitis?

This was a lot of fun – despite the Yorkshire weather – and we have to say a big thank you to everyone who agreed to be interviewed. Good sports one and all.

2. Antipodean Ambassador

A very warm welcome to Karen Tighe who joins our amazing Ambassador team. Karen is an award-winning sports broadcaster and presenter from Australia and, alongside her friends Rachael Schwarz, Corinna Melville and Veronique Theberge and other members of Team Encephalitis, are really driving forward encephalitis awareness in Australia. Welcome, Karen! Read More about Karen

3. Breakfast time

Karen also spoke to ABC Breakfast News:

4. Global Impact Report

The big news from the day was the release of Encephalitis: an in-depth review and gap analysis of key variables affecting global disease burden.

For short, we are calling it the Global Impact Report (this was my suggestion because the full title would take up too much of the 280 Twitter character limit... but don't tell anyone).

This new report from the Encephalitis Society has identified a range of difficulties and solutions to the global impact of encephalitis which could save lives and improve the treatment and after-care of millions of people today and into the future.

We will be talking about this a lot in the coming months and years, so I would suggest watching this podcast with Dr Ava Easton and Dr Julia Granerod to find out more.

5. Shaun the Sheep

All's wool that ends wool.


6. The Day My Brain Broke

Team Encephalitis volunteer Ludy Reddin launched her new podcast, The Day My Brain Broke. In the first series, Lucy will be speaking to people who have been affected by encephalitis. The first two episodes are available on YouTube.

7. Vero the encephalitis hero

Veronique Theberge - aka Vero - is a blogger behind Weird Wonderful Brain. Vero, who lives in New Zealand, was also interviewed by The Neuronerds in their podcast. Listen Now

8. #Red4WED

Were you Red-y for WED? You betcha...

World Encephalitis Day 2022

See #Red4WED photos on our Flickr account - or by scrolling through by clicking on the photo below.

9. Sincere the superhero

Sincere was four-years-old when he became ill with encephalitis. His mum told us: "He loves to see everyone wearing red as he doesn’t feel alone." Absolutely our favourite film of the day.

10. Good luck, Ava

Actors say you should never work with children or animals. Communication Managers at the Encephalitis Society (which would be me) say you should never work with your colleagues. This was supposed to be a simple video wishing Ava good luck before a day full of media interviews. 

11. London Calling

Watch Ava when she spoke to London Live on World Encephalitis Day. Watch Now

12. Pete's story

To read more stories from World Encephalitis Day, visit our stories page

13. Musical interlude

"When short-term memory is damaged, quite a few of us have found the lyrics of songs remain clear in our long term memories"

We asked you to share your favourite songs for a special World Encephalitis Day music playlist and it was an eclectic mix, featuring everyone from Talking Heads, through to Elvis Presley, The Temptations, Macklemore and even our Ambassador, Aliki Chrysochou

See the full playlist or listen on Spotify.

14. Evensong

Aliki also joined Ava and Ambassador Rebecca Adlington virtually at Winchester Cathedral for an Evensong in celebration of World Encephalitis Day where she performed Ave Maria.

15. Hold on Stand Strong

Hold on Stand Strong is a song from Hannah Rowlands and friends. Hannah, who first became ill with encephalitis in 2000, wrote the lyrics with input from supporters of the Encephalitis Society. Find out more about Hannah's story

16. The Challenge of Caregiving

World Encephalitis Day was the perfect time to release some new support films for families directly and indirectly affected by encephalitis. 

In the first of our films, carers shared their words of wisdom with others.

17. The Impact on Siblings

Meanwhile, our newest animation looked at the potential impact of encephalitis on a brother or sister

18. TikTok

Here at the Encephalitis Society, we like to think we're down with the kids, so we signed up to the TikTok for World Encephalitis Day.

We were buzzing to have viral TikTok sensation George Clarke raise awareness. Did you know that TikTok is 'sick'? I didn't.

@georgeclarkeey Tried to keep things light-hearted but it could’ve very easily not been, please do check out @EncephalitisSociety #red4wed #worldencephalitisday ♬ original sound - George Clarke

19. BrainWalk

At the beginning of February, we asked people to take part in BrainWalk for World Encephalitis Day. A total of 344 people answered the call, creating 75 teams and walking a mind-boggling 48,000,000 steps - that's 48 MILLION steps, people!

20. Zambia

This was the #Red4WED photo that Julie, our administrator, was waiting for!

We were delighted to get some of our t-shirts out in time to our friends at the Zambia Institute for Neurological Care, Research, and Education in time for World Encephalitis Day. 

Definitely Julie's highlight of the day!

21. I think someone's after my job

Liberty is the daughter of Phillippa Chapman, our Deputy CEO. She popped in to the Encephalitis Society offices to help mum during World Encephalitis Day. This photo was taken just before I asked her to look after our social media channels for the next several hours.

22. 22 Tips for Looking after your brain health

Finally, we asked our members what they would say to someone who was asking for advice about looking after their brain health. Watch this fantastic film from our members in Australia and New Zealand also visit our website for some more words of wisdom.

Thank you everyone! 

The Encephalitis Society team

The Encephalitis Society was proud to deliver this year's World Encephalitis Day in collaboration with several generous corporate supporters.

Financial support has been provided to Encephalitis Society as a Grant from Pfizer Ltd.

A gift in kind has been generously provided to the Encephalitis Society by Valneva.

The Encephalitis Society was also delighted to have the support of Bavarian Nordic, EUROIMMUN, and UCB, as Industry Pioneer Partners for WED22.

Thank you to each and every one of them!