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Making it happen - Fundraising

The difference we make is only possible because of our supporters.

Your donations, membership and fundraising pays for our work. We want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us in 2018. 

Our fundraising in numbers for 2018

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The Swim 22 event really made a splash 

4,800 swimmers swam 105,600 miles to raise an incredible £480,000

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Our One Million Steps challenge was a runaway success

8,422 people each took 1 million steps for us in 2018 – walking a total of over 4.2 million miles

What an amazing year for our fundraisers

Below are just a few of your fundraising highlights in 2018. Your generosity means we can fight for a world where diabetes can do no harm. Keep up the great work and we will too.  

Plenty to sing about

Staff at the law firm Squire Patton Boggs in Leeds bungee jumped, ran, hiked, cycled and sang to raise £20,000 in 2018. Liz Graham, a partner at the firm, said: “We chose Diabetes UK because it is such a great cause. We wanted to support the charity's work, as well as raise awareness of the condition." 

Remembering Liam

Since Trevor Scarman lost his son, Liam, to complications of Type 1 diabetes, he has spent his time fundraising and helping people learn more about the condition. In 2018, Trevor and the rest of Liam’s family and friends donated £5,471 as they gathered in his local pub to celebrate his life.

Miles and miles and miles

Yorkshire couple, Liz and Graham Waddington, raised £1,681 by walking from Lands End to John O’Groats. The pair completed the 1200 mile walk over three months, carrying their own equipment.

“This is my way of proving that diabetes doesn’t have to stop you leading an adventurous life.” - Graham

Rowers leave us in awe

Hugo Thompson became the first person with Type 1 diabetes to row the Atlantic, after he and three friends, John Morgan, Joel Wood and Monty Williams, reached Antigua 55 days after setting off from the Canary Isles. Team Oarstruck completed the 3,000 mile adventure despite no prior rowing experience, raising more than £30,000.

Memories of Matt

More than 800 people attended the latest festival run by former players of Cromer Park FC, to remember their team-mate and friend, Matt Sell. The festival, in its fifth year, has now raised more than £40,000 thanks to football matches, live music, bouncy castles and their legendary raffles. 

Magnificent Maeve

Following her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, Maeve was determined to learn as much as possible about it from our website. She also felt the best way to come to terms with diabetes was to raise money for us, so organised a sponsored keep fit class at her local gym in Larne, raising £1,300.

Building a better future

Chris Ryder’s daughter, Anna, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2018. In June he and his colleagues at Ryder Architecture raised more than £2,500 with a 26 mile hike in the Highlands.

“It was only when faced with the reality of how it affected my own family that I began to understand the full implications.” - Chris

One big pool party

Swim22 keeps getting bigger and better. In 2018, 4,800 swimmers took to their local pools to complete 22 miles – the distance of The Channel - between February and May. Along with helping people get a bit fitter. All those lengths added up to raise more than £480,000.

Cyclists saddle up

From the 100 miles of Ride London to a 24 hour race from London to Paris, hundreds of cyclists got on their bikes and rode for us in 2018. Ignoring tired legs and numb bums, they pedalled to a fundraising total of more than £180,000.

Scotland the brave

Braving the worst weather Scotland could throw at them, 96 walkers donned their tartan and completed Kiltwalks in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Whatever the weather, there was no rain on the parade of donations, with our walkers raising more than £30,000.

No bridge too far for walkers 

Every year our London Bridges Challenge brings thousands of people from all over the UK to London to cross 12 bridges and walk 10 miles. In 2018 more than 4,000 people raised over £390,000 and, for a day, filled the city with smiling faces in blue t-shirts.  



Taking more steps than ever

A record-breaking 8,422 people joined Lee Latchford Evans from Steps to take on our One Million Step Challenge over the summer. As the face of the challenge, Lee’s tips and smart moves helped our steppers raise £400,000.  

Runners on a hot streak

It was the hottest London Marathon on record but the 124 people who ran for us refused to wilt. As temperatures soared, so did their fundraising as together they raised £257,000

"The London Marathon really was a brilliant day and I would recommend it to anyone." - Louise, London Marathon participant

How we've helped

Team DUK did an absolutely magnificent job at the London Marathon, pushing through the heat to help us raise over a quarter of a million pounds. Watch the highlights below.



We've had so many people run, swim, cycle, jump, play and everything in between. You do it for friends, loved ones and your family, and every single one of you are amazing. Here are just a few stories about our amazing fundraisers.

More fundraising stories

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"I'm running for my father and my daughter"

Read Barbara's story

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"I'm walking to give my son the future he deserves"

Read Hayley's story

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