It is with much sadness that we announce that one of Diabetes UK's most popular supporters, Joseph Cole, has passed away.
Many of you will remember Joseph as the ever-happy, polite and high-spirited fundraiser who gave up countless hours of his time collecting on behalf of Diabetes UK. He could regularly be spotted outside Marks & Spencer on London's Oxford Street or at big sporting events, wearing his elaborate costume or his top hat and tails and Diabetes UK sash, shaking his collecting tin.
Joseph began raising funds and awareness for Diabetes UK after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1991, and 10 years later he was interviewed in Balance and deservedly featured as the cover star. Joseph related how he liked to dress sharply and how his costumes helped him stand out from other fundraisers.
He also felt strongly about raising awareness among the audience he reached, saying "After I was diagnosed, I felt I had to tell everyone about this condition that had had such an effect on me ... if I can listen or just give them a leaflet, that makes a difference."
Joseph passed away on 4 March, his 77th birthday.
Joseph raised an incredible £18,000 for Diabetes UK over the years and his family have requested donations to Diabetes UK and Cancer Research UK rather than flowers at his funeral.