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Wed 31st October
Smartphone App scoops leading industry awards for Yorkshire charity and developer
A smartphone app designed to help people affected by a devastating brain condition has scooped two leading industry awards for a charity and an app developer both based in North Yorkshire.

BrainWalk, which was launched earlier this year, has earned the Encephalitis Society and The Distance a gold Digital Impact Award for Best Use of Digital by a Charity and the Best Fundraising Technology prize at the 2018 Charity Times Awards.

Anthony Main, the Chief Executive of The Distance, which is based on Micklegate, York, said: “Receiving these awards for BrainWalk is a very special moment for everyone involved with The Distance and the Encephalitis Society. There was a lot of hard work involved in the campaign – all the way from the original seed of the idea to its actual launch – and to have our smartphone app honoured by leading figures in our respective industries is a very proud moment.”

Towards the end of last year, the Encephalitis Society, which has its headquarters in Malton, approached The Distance and tasked them with designing an app for people affected by the condition, an inflammation of the brain, for World Encephalitis Day on February 22.

The result was BrainWalk which encouraged supporters of the charity to join a digital walk around the world.

Once downloaded to a mobile phone, the app counted users’ daily step count while there were also games for anyone with mobility issues and a message board to keep everyone connected.

Phillippa Chapman, Director of Operations for the Encephalitis Society, said: “Our aim was to bring people together whose lives had been affected by encephalitis and get them work towards a common goal of walking around the world.

“We wanted to get them moving, get them thinking and reduce the often overwhelming sense of isolation that can follow an acquired brain injury.

“We estimated that it takes 52.8 million steps to walk around the globe but the users of BrainWalk more than doubled that figure by the time we reached the finish line on World Encephalitis Day, so we are very proud that it was so well received.”

 She added: “We are now turning our attention to World Encephalitis Day 2019 and launching BrainWalk again. Who knows maybe we’ll manage walk the globe three times!

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