Lancashire agency launched this year to help teenager's coronavirus-beating tech device

A new Lancashire PR and social media agency has won a national pitch to help a teenage entrepreneur launch his coronavirus-beating technology.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 10th July 2020, 9:29 am
Updated Friday, 10th July 2020, 9:32 am

District May, based in Leyland, will represent the 15-year old to drive awareness around a new wearable technology aimed at tackling one of the key transmission pathways of Covid-19 – face touching.

The patent-pending VybPro, is an intelligent wristband which vibrates to alert wearers every time they are about to subconsciously touch their face. The device comes from Max Melia who came up with the concept with his mother two years ago as a way to reduce the spread of cold and flu.

Max began developing a working prototype of the VybPro in March 2020 when both of his parents were struck down with Coronavirus and has now launched a £60,000 crowdfunding campaign to bring the product to market.

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Founders of PR agency District May, Louise Woodward and Emma Rawlinson

District May, run by Emma Rawlinson and Louise Woodward, will be aiming to generate widespread national and international media coverage for the VybPro and its creator to support the crowdfunding drive.

District May co-founder, Emma Rawlinson, said: “Max is a huge inspiration – he spent all of his spare time in lockdown developing this technology, while his parents battled Coronavirus, and has created something which has the potential to be a real game changer when it comes to reducing the spread of Covid-19.

“His focus is not on making money but helping as many people as possible stay safe – especially key workers, people with health vulnerabilities and commuters – and he has pledged that any profits made from early sales via the crowdfunding site will be reinvested into providing free devices to the NHS.”

VybPro is just one of four new account wins for the District May duo who launched the boutique PR and social media agency at the start of 2020 with a focus on supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses. In recent weeks the pair have also won briefs for e-commerce site, The Eco-Friendly Living Co, interior designer Catherine Rowe and vegan home fragrance brand Delilah Chloe.

Max Melia with his motion-sensitive wristband device which helps people stop touching their faces and so spreading germs

Speaking about the business growth, Louise Woodward, said: “Both Emma and I come from big agency backgrounds and it has always been our ambition to take this ‘big agency thinking’ and apply it to small businesses and start-ups to help give them the recognition that they deserve.

“There is a real appetite for championing smaller brands and businesses – especially handmade, locally or UK sourced products and those with strong eco credentials. Despite many big brands cutting or pausing their marketing spend in recent months, we have seen a lot of small businesses seize the opportunity to invest in PR to increase their share of voice on a national level.”