Diabetes UK has been successfully nominated as one of the charities to win a volunteering position as part of this year’s Vodafone World of Difference programme.
The programme offers members of the public the chance to make a difference for their chosen charities by awarding them with fully-paid volunteering positions. This year 500 people have been awarded with two month placements at a number of leading charities across the UK, with Diabetes UK being one of them.
Becoming a ‘Community Champion’
The voluntary position was awarded to Diabetes UK’s West Midlands office after Susan Haynes-Elcock, from Wolverhampton, saw an advert for the Vodafone programme and decided to put herself forward to win a place volunteering at the charity.
Susan, who has Type 1 diabetes, will act as a Community Champion to raise awareness of diabetes and Diabetes UK within local Black and South Asian communities.
This is a vital role as the prevalence of diabetes in people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities is significantly higher than the white population living in the UK. Susan will be responsible for organising workshops within local community centres to raise awareness of diabetes and provide healthy cooking demonstrations, help at events such as the Diabetes UK Roadshows and recruiting other volunteers to support the charity.
Susan said: “I thought it was a fantastic scheme to enable more people to volunteer for charity and give back to their communities. I was amazed that I’d been chosen out of so many applicants. I have loads of ideas I want to bring to the role to help integrate the BAME population with diabetes and work together with the whole population of people diagnosed with this serious condition.”
Opportunity to make a difference
Verity Steddon, Diabetes UK Volunteer Development Manager, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this position. Not only is this a brilliant opportunity for someone to gain valuable experience of working within the charity sector, but their support will also help to make a make a real difference to the 270,000 people with diabetes in the West Midlands.
“People of Black, Asian and minority ethnic origins are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and our new Community Champion will provide invaluable support to help us raise awareness of diabetes within these communities.”