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Kent volunteer receives an MBE in the New Year Honours List

One of our tireless volunteers has been awarded an MBE for her charity work and for her work as a public servant.

Alison Fotheringham, 46 and from Edenbridge in Kent, works as an Appeals and Litigation Assistant Director at the Home Office, based in London. She lives with type 1 diabetes and has been rewarded for her “Public and Voluntary Service” in the New Year Honours List.

Alison says:

“I have had type 1 diabetes since I was nine. Diabetes is very much the reason I am tenacious and resilient, and I think the reason I have been honoured with an MBE.

“I would love to see a cure but am realistic that may not happen in my lifetime, although all the research really interests me and I am grateful to Diabetes UK for the funding they provide for research. It is a relentless condition and one you have to think about 24/7. 

“This honour is not just for me but for all those being challenged by diabetes every day.”

Alison started volunteering with us when she was 18 years old, helping with Family Care weekend events in Scotland, before moving to working on the week-long care event camps for children aged 7 to 11 years, and then taking over the running of the Abernethy camp in Scotland for several years.

Alison was then posted overseas with her job for 11 years and turned to fundraising for us in that time until her return to the UK in 2016. 

She continued to fundraise for the charity once she was back home.

She says:

“In 2018, I ran the hottest London Marathon on record for Diabetes UK but had a pretty miserable time after suffering a hypo - when my blood glucose levels dropped low - at mile four, being taken off course at mile five by medics and then needing an hour of treatment. I went on to complete the marathon, raising over £4,500.”

Alison ran a second London marathon in 2019, happily without incident and raising a further £3,500. In 2020, she joined the Diabetes UK team as a Run Ambassador, supporting people at running events for us with a focus on the London Marathon. 

She says:

“Being a Run Ambassador is a proud achievement for me and I love supporting other runners and supporting my charity along the way. I am known to be the loudest person at the Diabetes UK cheerpoint at Tower Bridge before moving to the Big Ben cheerpoint where I am even louder!

“Through Diabetes UK I have met some of the best friends ever and we have a lovely group of type 1 diabetics (and a few honorary members) where we support each other through the ups and downs of diabetes.”

Jill Steaton, our South East Coast and London Head, said:

“We all want to send congratulations to Alison on this well-deserved honour and thank her once again for all the help she has given Diabetes UK over the years.”

An MBE - Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - is the third highest ranking Order of the British Empire award (excluding knighthoods / damehoods).

An MBE is appointed for an outstanding achievement or service to the community which has had a long-term, significant impact.

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