Emmerdale star Mathew Bose is urging people in Leeds city centre to learn more about life-threatening brain condition encephalitis.
The actor, who played Paul Lambert in the Yorkshire soap, is an ambassador for The Encephalitis Society charity and has joined campaigners to raise awareness of the condition outside Leeds Art Gallery, in The Headrow, Leeds, today.
Bose is joining the charity’s 21-day roadshow to raise awareness of the condition in the organisation’s 21st year. He is handing out leaflets, offering information and giving treats so people can tweet selfies with the hashtag #Showyouknow.
Encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain, which can be caused through an infection or by the immune system attacking the brain.
It affects around 6,000 people in the UK every year and can be fatal or lead to long-term issues like memory loss, epilepsy, personality changes or difficulties with understanding.
Bose told the YEP: “Raising awareness is what it’s all about. I want it to be the case that people aren’t just talking about encephalitis because somebody they know has got it.
“We’ve been thrilled with the response so far. People are finding out about us and this gives them the chance to contact us and learn more, it’s fantastic.”
He became an ambassador for the Malton-based charity after a close friend had his life “turned upside down” by Herpes Simplex Encephalitis in 2006.
The Encephalitis Society offers support, raises awareness and funds research into the treatment and causes of the condition.
Dr Ava Easton, chief executive of the charity, said: “It has a higher incidence than bacterial meningitis and motor neurone disease but nobody’s heard of it.
“And it’s our 21st birthday this year, so we wanted to do something big by visiting 21 cities in 21 days. We want to raise as much awareness as possible.”
Visit www.encephalitis.info for further information.