Coronation Street’s Dev Alahan, actor Jimmi Harkishin, recently attended the Diamonds are Forever event in Bolton, which raised almost £200,000 for people with diabetes.
United Co-operatives staged the James Bond themed extravaganza as part of its charity of the year commitment to Diabetes UK. Guests took part in bingo, a raffle and an auction. Top auction lots included holidays to Kenya and Mauritius, and a James Bond Omega watch with a signed picture of Daniel Craig, who played Bond in the recent re-make of Casio Royale.
Jimmi (pictured above) gave the 1,000-strong audience a moving account of how diabetes affected his late mother and why he now does all he can to help those affected by the condition.
“I want people to learn more about diabetes and what it means," said Jimmi.
"It’s a condition that affects over 300,000 people in the UK from South Asian and Black backgrounds. The impact on South Asian people who have diabetes is huge – they are four times more likely to develop kidney failure and three times more likely to have heart disease than White people with diabetes,” he said.
Long-time Diabetes UK supporter Richard Lane also spoke magnificently about what the charity means to him. Richard was one of the first people to undergo islet cell transplantation as part of a study funded by Diabetes UK.
Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Diamonds are Forever was a fantastic success. Thank you to United Co-operatives for organising an amazing evening and for raising so much money for Diabetes UK. The proceeds will really make a difference to the lives of people with diabetes. We really appreciate Jimmi and Richard's support - they were both brilliant speakers who helped everyone to understand how important our work is.”