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The Key to raising awareness for diabetes

Despite all the challenges of the last 18 months, The Key charity shop in Larne has exceeded all expectations in their efforts to help raise much-needed funds for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland.


A rack of secondhand clothes in a shop, with handbags on top of the rack, against a white wall

Mary Houston from The Key used World Diabetes Day on Sunday 14 November to help raise awareness about diabetes.

Mary Houston, said, “We opened this store five years ago and I couldn’t have predicted what would lie ahead for us. The last year and a half has been particularly hard on everyone but I have been overwhelmed by the ongoing support and kindness that people have shown us and in doing so, have helped us raise our biggest amount to date.

”I am delighted today to be able to present a cheque for £35,000 to Diabetes UK Northern Ireland so that they can help all the families who find themselves affected by this relentless condition. If you have diabetes or look after someone with it, I’d urge you to reach out to Diabetes UK Northern Ireland and get the help and support you need. Hopefully this donation will help them with their work in supporting people to live well with diabetes. Thank you to our amazing customers and to those who kindly donated goods.”

Mary Houston met with the Mid and East Antrim Mayor, Cllr William McCaughey, to mark World Diabetes Day and presented the cheque to Diabetes UK Northern Ireland.

Naomi Breen, Fundraising Manager at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said, “I would like to thank Mary, the staff at The Key and all their amazing customers who have collectively raised this remarkable donation.

“During the pandemic we have continued to reach out to people who have been struggling with their diabetes, providing online support, a befriender scheme and ongoing support and advice. Diabetes is relentless. The person living with it has to manage it all on their own and that burden is real, and it takes its toll. Thankfully to The Key, we will be able to use this money to support our diabetes community in Northern Ireland.”

There are over 104,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland and this number continues to rise every year. Approximately 90% of those are living with type 2 diabetes.

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