Wake Up To Lyme 2024 – Campaign Round Up

As Lyme Disease Awareness Month 2024 comes to an end, we’d like to take a moment to reflect and bring together the highlights of this year’s campaign.

Thank you to our supporters!

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part in shining a spotlight on Lyme disease this May. Yet again, we’ve been inspired by the commitment and support of our patient community. From sharing social media posts and photos online, distributing leaflets and posters in your communities, taking part in Wear Lime for Lyme day, organising local venues and landmarks to Light Up for Lyme, taking part in media interviews and running local pop up events.  We couldn’t run this campaign without you – you are amazing!

Campaign in numbers

So, what have we achieved? With your help we are delighted to have achieved the following success.

  • Reached over 300,000 people online via our social media platforms (80% non-followers of our platforms!).
  • Distributed over 60,000 leaflets, 10,000 tick awareness cards, 5,000 posters and not forgettting, 250 car stickers!
  • Enjoyed seeing 25 landmarks across the UK light up for Lyme.
  • Welcomed over 80,000 visitors to our website.
  • Displayed our awareness literature in over 6,000 GP surgeries.
  • Had the opportunity to display our Be Tick Aware animation on 800 pharmacy screens.

It is impossible to quantify how many people will have seen our information at local and national events, by reading newsletters/television and press coverage or by looking up at pharmacy display screens, but we can safely say there will be many thousands of people who will have seen something about Lyme disease and tick bite prevention this month thanks to our campaign and your efforts.

Read on for more detail about our activities over the past few weeks…

Media coverage..

We were delighted to work on a number TV, radio and press features this spring including Countryfile, BBC Morning Live, Sky News and The Mirror. Thank you to all of the patients who came forward to share their stories and help people to understand the realities of late Lyme disease and why prevention is so important.

Sky News – Climate change could cause spike in ticks and drive up Lyme disease cases.

BBC Morning LiveDr Punam on ticks and Lyme disease (start watching at 20 mins).

dr purnam bbc

ITV Tyne Tees NewsKay Gibb and Natasha Metcalf discuss Lyme disease.

Countryfile Charlotte heads to Devon to investigate the increasing number of ticks in our countryside – parasites that carry several diseases, which they can pass on to animals they bite. Charlotte discovers the consequences this can have for livestock, humans and our pets (watch from 18 mins).

Farmers Weekly – Will’s World: How to avoid uninvited summer guests.

The MirrorMan’s plea to doctors after he was struck down with ‘terrible pain’ following holidayTom Davies recounts how he contracted Lyme disease and its impact upon his life.

BBC The devastating impact tick bite had on mum’s life – Melanie Ambrose shares her story.

Liverpool Echo‘Stay safe’ warning after 1,500 confirmed cases of rare disease.

Chronicle LiveSunderland woman caught Lyme Disease after dog lay on hedgehog nest in garden – Kay Gibb’s experience of Lyme disease.

BBC Radio WiltshireListen to John Watling, Team Seasoar and Julia Knight, LDUK discussing the importance of Lyme disease prevention this summer.

BBC Radio TwoJeremy Vine talks tick bite prevention and Lyme disease awareness. Listen from 1.36.

Wear Lime For Lyme Day

Wearing green on Wear Lime for Lyme day is now a regular feature of our annual campaign! The new LDUK online shop was inundated with orders for t-shirts and hoodies and we were very pleased to see our sponsors, Team Seasoar and Tick Twister joining in the fun!

Congratulations to Aoife Collins who won first prize for her incredible picture of Piper in our pet photography competition. Thank you so much to everyone else who took part!

#LightUpForLyme

Light Up For Lyme returned for another year and it’s been amazing to see some of our grandest ever venues lighting up in green to raise awareness of Lyme disease including The Blackpool Tower, Edinburgh Castle and St Edmundsbury Cathedral.  With a combined effort from Lyme Resource Centre and patient advocates, an incredible 25 venues lighting up in support of Lyme disease sufferers, a new charity record! Thank you so much to all of the landmarks and organisers. View our Light Up For Lyme Photo Gallery.

Events

We were delighted to share our prevention messages with attendees at the National Outdoor Expo and are looking forward to having a presence at the National Cycling Show in Birmingham on 15 – 16th June.

Julia Knight, our intrepid Press and Community Outreach Manager, usually goes along to The Bushcraft Show each May. Despite being laid up following spinal surgery earlier this year, Julia co-ordinated a number of media features during this year’s campaign and arranged for materials to be sent to Bushcraft. We’re all rooting for Julia’s recovery and thank everyone who has passed on their best wishes. We missed you Bushcraft Team, and hope to be back next year!

Thank you to relentless advocate Hannah Green and her mum for taking leaflets along to Hadleigh Country Show and starting conversations with people about tick bite awareness.

Deborah Bircham, who suffers with Lyme disease came up with the idea of giving talks in her local village hall which was reported on by her local paper, the Stamford Recorder, raising even more awareness in her local community!

New animations for 2024

It’s been a while since we have had the opportunity to work with talented animator, RoPu Chen. We have been lucky enough to share RoPu’s work on our social media platforms for a number of years, totting up thousands of views and shares.

Recognising the erythema migrans (Lyme) rash and encouraging people to ‘Be Tick Aware’ are key messages for our campaign. RoPu created two informative animations for us to share online and promote as free downloads to pharmacies and GP surgeries for their display screens.

‘I was pleased to be involved in creating the animations to raise awareness of this debilitating illness. My husband had great help from LDUK at the time when he was diagnosed with Lyme disease. The more we know, the better our chances to be on the right track and take action.’ RoPu Chen

Focus on pharmacies and health professionals

We know that generating awareness amongst healthcare professionals is of the utmost importance to ensure that Lyme disease is diagnosed promptly and treated correctly.

Following the introduction of the Pharmacy First Service earlier in the year, a key aim for our campaign was to reach as many pharmacists as possible to improve awareness of the Lyme rash and early symptoms.

We reached out to a number of organisations including Community Pharmacy England, NHS EnglandNational Pharmacy Association, The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) and were delighted with their enthusiasm to promote our resources to their audiences. They included information on recognising, diagnosing, and treating Lyme disease on their websites, and in newsletters including Primary Care Bulletin (sent to 25,000+ NHS primary care professionals).

We also welcomed the opportunity to write articles for quarterly journals, Northern Ireland Healthcare Review, Scottish Healthcare Review, Welsh Pharmacy Review and Community Pharmacy Scotland.

We were keen to share our new Be Tick Aware animation, on over 800 pharmacy screens throughout the UK thanks to Healthpoint TV and Cegedim Healthcare Solutions. We were also able to display our awareness posters and leaflets in 6,000 GP surgeries across the UK. So next time you’re in a waiting room, do keep an eye out!

And we’re not stopping there! On 12 – 13th June at the NHS ConfedExpo 2024 in Manchester, over 5,000 healthcare professionals will receive a pack, including details of Lyme disease and early symptoms.

Collaborating with charities and organisations

We’ve been thrilled to build new relationships with fellow charities this year who are keen to support our important message!  Key collaborations include a collaboration with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Kitsquad and The School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA). Watch this space!

Thanks also to organisations including Coombe Abbey Park, Hartland Wildlife Management and Training, Countryside Jobs Service, and BASC Scotland for sharing awareness information from our social media platforms.

Thank you to our fundraisers and sponsors!

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated, fundraised and sponsored our work to enable our campaign to pack such a punch.

Luke Roberts completed his courageous sky dive in support of his loved one, Emily Pell who’s battling Lyme. A H Warren Trust and Coombe Farm Sporting arranged a Clay Pigeon shooting event. St Mary Calne School ran another terrific fundraiser. In addition to organising three light ups in Milton Keynes, Michaela Smith and family ran informative, pop up fundraising stall at their local shopping centre. Michaela is truly unstoppable with a meeting with her local council soon to talk tick bite prevention.

And finally, a special thank you to our sponsors, Team Seasoar (headline sponsor) and Tick Twister. We were able to reach so many people this year, thanks to their generous funding of the campaign. Check out the Team Seasoar page for updates on the row preparations and if you’d like to donate or perhaps sponsor a mile, please visit their Just Giving Page.

To everyone who has contributed, thank you so much! Thanks to your hard work and generosity, we can continue to raise awareness throughout the summer months and prevent even more Lyme infections in 2024!