Get to know some of the Team Encephalitis volunteers. 

They support the Encephalitis Society by raising awareness, reviewing our information and providing support, amongst other projects.

If you are interested in joining Team Encephalitis, please email [email protected] or call +44(0) 1653 692583.

Maria Matthews

Where are you based in the world?

I'm originally from Oxford but am now living in Limavady,  Northern Ireland.

What type of volunteer are you?

Support when required would be my main contribution but all 3 – Support, Information and Awareness - would be relevant as I am the only representative in NI.

What has volunteering for the Society entailed for you?

As a volunteer I've met and supported others affected by encephalitis, along with doing what I can to raise awareness.  I've supported several people who've contacted the society based in NI. I've also done some fundraising and got articles in newspapers about encephalitis. I've accepted donations for the society and I've also supported several of their meetings in the UK.

What do you enjoy about volunteering for the Society?

I enjoy meeting up with other volunteers and sharing stories along with giving encouragement to families affected. Becoming a volunteer was my way of saying thank you to the society for all the support they gave me and my family when I was recovering from encephalitis.

What difference does the Society make in your opinion?

Having the support of the society really helps people prepare and adapt to the numerous consequences of encephalitis.

Roy Parker

Where are you based in the world?

I live on the south coast between Portsmouth and Southampton, with views of the Isle of Wight.  I am originally from Lancashire and have worked in various parts of the U.K.

What type of volunteer are you?

Information volunteer.

What has volunteering for the Society entailed for you?

As an Information Volunteer I read and review documentation and provide feedback.

I have been involved in organising two coffee mornings for local people affected by Encephalitis. I heard of this being held in one or two other parts of the country and thought of getting involved as people do not tend to come into contact with others who have been affected.

What do you enjoy about volunteering for the Society?

I find it interesting to review the documentation, the understanding of which is eased by the fact that I have a Science background. I have also learned a great deal from the information that I have read which has aided my personal understanding of the condition.

I have found it beneficial to meet other people who have suffered from the condition as most of us have never heard of Encephalitis before suffering from it.

What difference does the Society make in your opinion?

The Society provides an absolutely key role in providing a wide variety of support functions. It provides an immediate source of help by means of telephone and emails; it provides an extensive source of information via its web-site; it organises conferences to further the understanding of new developments and it organises activities such as retreats to provide support to those affected.

Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese

Where are you based in the world?

The US. 

What type of volunteer are you?

Awareness volunteer.

What has volunteering for the Society entailed for you?

Encephalitis is virtually unheard of in the US. I am trying to bring awareness to this debilitating condition by educating whenever I can. I had our governor declare World Encephalitis Day (for the day) in Massachusetts.  

What do you enjoy about volunteering for the Society?

The ability to do what works for me, however, also getting people to talk about this condition. 

What difference does the Society make in your opinion?

The Society gives me an outlet to which I can educate others.  Encephalitis is a condition that you never hear about unless it happens to you or someone you know.