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Volunteers pick up top awards

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Every year thousands of our volunteers put aside hours of their time to help support people with diabetes. Our Inspire Awards are a chance to thank them for their contributions and highlight how their work has made a difference to the lives of others.

The 2015 awards ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Governors Hall of St Thomas’ hospital. On hand to present the winners with their awards were the President of Diabetes UK, Richard Lane OBE, the charity’s Chief Executive, Barbara Young, Trustee, Jim McCall and Vice Chair of Trustees, Julian Baust. The event’s host was Colette Marshall, Director of Operations at Diabetes UK.

Colette Marshall, Diabetes UK’s Director of Operations, said: “These awards celebrate the commitment, enthusiasm and personal contribution made by volunteers across the charity and recognise outstanding individuals and group volunteer efforts. We want to pay tribute to our volunteers for the extraordinary support they give, for their loyalty and their sheer hard work. 

“There are more than 3.9 million people living with diabetes, and our dedicated volunteers help them to manage their condition, campaign to improve the quality of care available to them, fundraise for pioneering research and work to stem the rising tide of diabetes. Our volunteers are out there in the community working hard day in, day out. Our much-needed work wouldn’t be possible without their incredible support and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of our volunteers who make an enormous difference to the charity.”

Each of the winners had already been awarded the regional award so to also win the UK-wide awards is an incredible feat.

If you would like to volunteer for Diabetes UK then we'd love to hear from you. You can find more information here.

This year, our incredible winners are:

Maureen Worcester - Fundraising award Maureen Worcester - Fundraising award 

Maureen, who has raised £9,000 to help support people living with diabetes in Wales won the Fundraising award. Maureen is a member of the Diabetes UK local group in Tenby and her son has Type 1 diabetes, which fuels her passion and ambition to improve the lives of people with diabetes in her local community and across Wales. She has been a huge support to the charity for over 20 years. In the past year alone she organised a sponsored swim and walk, coffee mornings, cake making days and a bucket collection at her local store.

Dambar Gurung - Campaigning and Raising Awareness award Dambar Gurung - Campaigning and Raising Awareness award 

Dambar, a former Gurkha from Crookham, who gives up his spare time to campaign tirelessly for better diabetes services won the Campaigning and Raising Awareness award. Dambar, originally from Nepal, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1997, a year after he moved. Since then he has been an invaluable source of support for Diabetes UK, committed to supporting his local support group’s activities and events and the national campaigns that help raise awareness of the serious life-long condition.

Making Connections group - local group award Making Connections group - local group award 

Making Connections, a group of 16–25 year olds in Scotland, won the local group award for the part they played in developing a new project to foster better relationships between healthcare professionals and young people with Type 1 diabetes. Working together to identify barriers which prevent some young people from engaging with their diabetes transition clinics, the group helped develop a toolkit featuring case studies and practical guidance. The group also co-delivered workshops for health professionals to give them a greater understanding of the real needs and experience of young people with diabetes. 

Willow Hall - Young People's Outstanding Contribution award Willow Hall - Young People's Outstanding Contribution award 

Willow, a schoolgirl from Kent, who has been raising money for Diabetes UK since her five-year-old cousin was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes three years ago won the Young People's Outstanding Contribution. She has organised several events, from onesie walks to Guides collections, for the charity helping to raise funds and awareness of diabetes.

Sandra Attwood - Supporting Others awardSandra Attwood - Supporting Others award

Sandra Attwood, a former diabetes nurse educator who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 31 years ago, won the Supporting Others award. Sandra has been the secretary of the Northampton area group for 30 years but she is also a patient representative, which involves monitoring diabetes care standards in the area. From organising petitions to prevent podiatry services from being axed to protecting the roles of diabetes specialist nurses in the area, Sandra is a formidable campaigner on behalf of people with diabetes. 

Richard Lane OBE - Outstanding Contribution award Richard Lane OBE - Outstanding Contribution award 

President of Diabetes UK, Richard Lane OBE, was presented with an Outstanding Contribution award to thank him for his commitment to the charity. He has been President of Diabetes UK since 2008 and in that time has worked tirelessly to represent the charity across the UK. Richard has travelled the length and breadth of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to engage people about diabetes by giving inspiring talks. On top of representing the charity at a variety of meetings and forums, he has made over 280 visits to local groups. 

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