Volunteers, based across the UK, came to London to be honoured for their work for the charity at the 2016 Diabetes UK Inspire Awards.
In his opening address Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, emphasised the inspirational work that thousands of volunteers carry out for the charity. Whether it is running marathons, raising awareness at roadshows or talking to the media about diabetes the charity’s volunteers are a powerful force for good.
The awards were a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the incredible work Diabetes UK’s volunteers do and highlight just how much their work is at the heart of the organisation.
There were six hotly contested categories were packed full of incredible stories and it was tough for the judges to make their final selection. It was clear that everyone who volunteers for Diabetes UK is making a real difference.
Susan Taylor Award for Fundraising
Beth and Stuart Baldwin - Wales
Beth and Stuart Baldwin were chosen for this award to recognise the incredible dedication they have shown to fundraising for Diabetes UK since the tragic death of their 13-year-old son Peter as a result of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.
Since this the Baldwin’s have rallied their family, friends and the public from all over the country to raise vital funds for the charity. They have organised walks, picnics, gala dinners and taken part in various marathons, all raising money and awareness for Diabetes UK in memory of Peter. They have raised nearly £50,000 since the beginning of 2015.
Beth and Stuart have also carried out national campaigning and influencing work around the4Ts, engaging many people and raising awareness across the country. Beth and Stuart want Type 1 diabetes to be front of mind for all GPs when presented with an unwell child.
Their daughter Lia has joined in many of the events organised by Beth and Stuart organise. Recently, Lia has had her long hair cut to raise money for Diabetes UK. To date she has raised £852.
Local Group and Community Award
Sheffield Group – Northern & Yorkshire
The Sheffield Local Groupare tremendously active in the community. Members are involved with a large number and variety of events including a Patient Engagement Event with 100 local Healthcare Professionals and patients with diabetes; Walk for Diabetes; World Diabetes Day in Sheffield Cathedral; family fun days; Living With Diabetes Days and the Big Collection to name a few.
They run a Facebook peer support group and are in the process of establishing a family support group. Over several years the group have donated a staggering £48,400 to Diabetes UK. This group look at the Diabetes UK strategy and do everything they can around it locally. For example, they have built on existing relationships with their Clinical Commissioning Group to become more engaged in local healthcare matters, specifically looking at improving foot care within Sheffield.
Members of the group tirelessly contribute their time, knowledge and skills to make a major difference to those people in Sheffield living with diabetes.
Young Person’s Outstanding Contribution Award (joint winners)
Ellie Ross – Midlands
Ellie, who is seven years old, has been raising money and awareness of diabetes in her local area in support of her cousin who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 14 month olds.
She has taken part in a sponsored 7 mile walk in the Peak District. Ellie showed creativity in organising a ‘onesie’ day at her primary school in Carlton, Nottingham, to raise awareness of diabetes at her school and also the 4Ts. These were all her own ideas. Ellie has raised £550 for Diabetes UK to date with more fundraisers currently being planned for the future.
She has also appeared in the local paper twice and was nominated for Pride of Gedling Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community in the under 21 category. This has raised awareness of diabetes to people living in the Nottinghamshire area.
Ellie has shown huge support for her cousin and family and the fact that she has done all this for her cousin is inspirational.
Anya Lewis – Wales
Anya is a member of her local family group,Candy Free Kids, for children and families of those with Type 1 diabetes in the Swansea area. Anya supports all the activities and fundraising organised by the group.
Each year Candy Free Kids undertakes an Annual Activity Weekend, historically this has been for 7–11 year olds. Anya convinced the healthcare team to run a weekend for teenagers so that they also had the benefit of attending an event where they could meet other young people living with the condition. This was no mean achievement as Anya had to persuade and challenge Health Care Professionals.
In October 2015 the young people from Swansea, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Diabetes Clinics had an Activity Weekend and 28 young people attended. Many friendships have been formed and maintained from young people from different clinics that would otherwise never have met. This has had a significant impact for young people in her area.
Anya was also instrumental in setting up their online chat group Diabetos which is still going strong today. She also supports children at school who also have Type 1 diabetes, and encourages them to support each other,
The depth and breadth of the activity undertaken by Anya, and her industriousness, really stands out.
Local Group Fundraising Award
Edinburgh Group - Scotland
TheEdinburgh Local Group organise an annual fundraising ball in Edinburgh during November. The Hummingbird Ball, first held in 2001, has gone from strength to strength and in 2015, the event raised more than £30,400. Overall, this brings the total raised through the Ball to more than £340,000 – all of which has gone towardsdiabetes research. The Ball is co-ordinated, designed and administrated by volunteer group members.
TheEdinburgh Local Group also co-ordinates collections on the streets and door to door in Edinburgh duringDiabetes Weekin June. The amounts collected during the week reaches thousands of pounds, with a record of £8,000 in 2014.
In 2015, this amount was £4,000. The group have also actively supportedDiabetes UK Tesco Big Collectionsand are unfailingly reliable in their support of any and all fundraising efforts in their local area.
The Edinburgh Group also work in partnership and gain the support of the wider community. They are very supportive of the charity in organising awareness events, supporting Know Your Risk events and contribute to the wider strategic direction of the charity when asked.
Supporting Others Award
David Robinson – Eastern
David was one of the first Peer Support Facilitators (PSFs) trained for theType 2 Together project. Type 2 Together groups hold monthly meetings to support people living with Type 2 diabetes and are facilitated by trained volunteers. Not only did David set up his original group, he went far beyond the original brief by setting up other groups outside his own Clinical Commissioning Group area in Mid-Essex.
David also supported his fellow PSFs, for example in Braintree, and when a PSF was needed to take on a group in Maldon at very short notice, David offered to do this to keep the group going. David went on to lead an amazing total of four different peer support groups across the region.
David attended six of Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle roadshows where he was brilliant at encouraging people onto the bus with a very confident and knowledgeable approach, as well as handing out hundreds of leaflets to members of the public, raising awareness for our campaigns and charity.
David also supported the Eastern regional team at Living with Diabetes Days, in the office and as a Speaker Volunteer. In addition, David’s time and support was crucial in the Eastern team’s 100 Day Challenge event where they worked with a group of GP Practises to identify patients at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and then subsequently follow up with them up six weeks later. On top of all this, he raised £355 for the charity when he did theGreat North Runlast year.
Campaigning and raising Awareness Award
Clare Allom – Northern and Yorkshire
Clare is actively involved in driving the local support group forward, including arranging meetings, recruiting new members, press work and local talks.
Clare has been heavily involved in campaigning, including prevention of Type 2 – and has appeared on Sky News. She hosts many awareness events with the South Tyneside group of which she is secretary.
Clare has been steadfastly campaigning for a ‘One Stop Shop’ diabetes centre in her local area of South Tyneside, where people living with diabetes can have all their essential annual checks during one appointment, at one facility.
Her campaign got extensive coverage in the local media over the years. She also started a petition aimed at local residents, which got nearly 350 signatures, asking for the establishment of the one stop service. She had meetings with the CCG, wrote to many health care officials, and built a working relationship with her local MP Emma Lewell-Buck who also wrote several letters on her behalf to local health authorities.
After remarkable campaigning, this One Stop Shop opened in April 2015. This is a major achievement which is making a huge difference for a lot of people in the community.
Find out more about Clare's story.
Annastasia Baker, gospel singer and two time former X Factor contestant performed at the event singing two songs – Make You Feel My Love and Pass It On. The singer got the opportunity to speak with many of the volunteers. She said: "Today was amazing and it was so beautiful to hear about so many people giving up their time to highlight awareness, to fundraise and to support people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
"It was wonderful to see people passing on their love. Everyone is a winner, and I must admit to shedding a tear. As a mum of a daughter (Nevaeh, 7) with Type 1, the work of the volunteers inspires me to be part of this great charity and to give more."
Also at the event sharing their incredible story were Geoff Whitington and his son, Anthony. Anthony, along with his brother Ian and other members of the family were instrumental in helping their father Geoff, who had Type 2 diabetes, regain his health. At 19-stone Geoff was clinically obese and doctors had warned he could lose his foot due to diabetes related complications. Instead he embarked on a life-changing healthy lifestyle programme which transformed his health. The brothers filmed Geoff’s emotional journey and the film became ‘Fixing Dad’.
- Julian Baust, Diabetes UK Trustee
- Kath Abrahams, Director of Engagement and Fundraising, Diabetes UK
- Colette Marshall, Director of Operations, Diabetes UK
- Geoff and Anthony Whitington, who made the Fixing Dad documentary
- Richard Lane OBE, Diabetes UK Ambassador
- Helen Dickens, Head of Prevention, Diabetes UK
Our host Pete Shorrick, Midlands Regional Head, did a great job of keeping everyone entertained.