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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Staff update

Meet Andy Broomhead: Head of Volunteering

What attracted you to the role at Diabetes UK?

“I've volunteered with Diabetes UK for a number of years, most recently as part of the Council of People Living with Diabetes. Seeing how much is going on inside the organisation always made me feel proud to be doing my bit as a volunteer. The opportunity to come and work here full time and play a part in helping to support people with diabetes was just too good to pass up."

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Can you explain a bit about your new role?

“I am the strategic lead on volunteering across the UK. I provide leadership and direction to the teams in the regions and nations across the UK. It's my job to make sure that our amazing volunteers continue to have a central role in the charity’s mission to help us build a world where diabetes can do no harm.”

Outside of the office, how do you enjoy spending your time?

"I spend time with my family - my daughter is learning ballet so I spend a fair bit of time in waiting rooms during lesson time. I've got a season ticket for Sheffield Wednesday FC and I volunteer locally in Sheffield for Diabetes UK. I'm also an avid Lego collector."

Andy spent most of his professional life doing contract work for various UK financial service companies, specifically focusing on business and process change to help improve customer experience.

He's volunteered for Diabetes UK for almost five years as a blogger, service champion, local group chair and member of CPD. He has seen the real difference that volunteers can make to people's lives and believes that Diabetes UK can continue to attract and develop volunteers to support people affected by diabetes.

Andy has had Type 1 diabetes for over 14 years, being diagnosed at university in 2002.

Meet Suzanne Smith: Senior Volunteer Development Lead for Midlands and Eastern regions

What attracted you to the role at Diabetes UK?

I was attracted to the post of Senior Volunteer Development Lead because the role provides an opportunity to really make a difference to the volunteering experience with Diabetes UK. Ensuring that all groups and individual volunteers across the region are achieving good outcomes, whilst attracting new individual volunteers and developing exciting opportunities for new local and community group activity are all key objectives of this role.

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Could you explain a bit about your new role?

The role encompasses the recruitment, retention and management of staff working with volunteer groups and those volunteering individually with people living with diabetes. I will also be providing advice and guidance to staff and volunteers in respect of safeguarding across the East and West Midlands and Eastern region.

Outside of the office, how do you enjoy spending your time?

In my spare time I enjoy a number of sports, swimming and spending time with my family. I enjoy my role as a Magistrate on the Black Country Bench and I have a passion for motorbikes!

Suzanne has enjoyed a long and varied career working for two Local Authorities in the West Midlands, both as a qualified social worker and social work manager and more latterly as a Head of Service responsible for providing social work for disabled people, young people and adults, nursery provision for disabled children, SEND (high needs learners), sensory inclusion for children and sensory impairment for children and adults.

Meet Jennifer Shaw: Group Liaison Officer for North West

What attracted you to the role at Diabetes UK?

“After relocating to the North West I was keen to challenge myself and continue my professional development within a new role and sector. Reading about Diabetes UK and their ongoing work to provide change for those affected by Diabetes, I was very interested in getting involved. Understanding the importance of volunteering and the impact it can make, I joined the team to make a positive contribution and develop volunteer engagement with Diabetes UK.”

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Could you explain a bit about your new role?

“As Group Liaison Officer for the North, I will be working with and supporting our local groups. Working within the Volunteer Development Team I will also be responsible for inputting and supporting all volunteer activity throughout the regions, ensuring that volunteers get a positive and consistent experience of working as part of Diabetes UK.”

Outside of the office, how do you enjoy spending your time?

“I enjoy trips away with my family and friends, walks along the beach with the dogs and reading in the sunshine.”

Jennifer started her career at The Communication Trust, working on an educational trial to improve children’s speech, language and communication skills within areas of disadvantage, developing her passion for providing information, help and support to vulnerable groups. After this, she moved to the Pre-school Learning Alliance, where she worked across multiple roles to deliver and develop quality improvement projects within the Early Years sector and gained experience of developing, delivering and evaluating numerous projects and new initiatives. She looks forward to developing her practice within the volunteering team, taking on new challenges and continuing her professional development within a new sector.

Meet Harpreet Brrang: Group Liaison Officer for Eastern and Midlands region

What attracted you the role at Diabetes UK

I was attracted to this role as I am passionate about the work Diabetes UK do. I am inspired by the time and energy volunteers put into their roles and want to support them to continue offering their services in any way possible. The role is extremely varied and allows me to meet many diverse people across the Midlands and Eastern region of England. Volunteers are key to the charity 

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Could you explain a bit about your new role?

I am the Group Liaison Officer for the Midlands and Eastern region. This role will focus on supporting and working with local groups but also with other volunteer activities within the region. I will work closely with the regional team to ensure that volunteers receive a positive and consistent experience of working as part of Diabetes UK.

Outside of the office, how do you enjoy spending your time?

I enjoy travelling especially countries and cities full of culture and a lot of my time is spent with my very large extended family and friends. Other hobbies of mine include badminton and dance.

Harpreet's previous role was with Macmillan Cancer Support where she supported patients and families affected by cancer within the hospital-based support centre. This role also involved working closely with other charitable organisations and health care professionals. She managed a large team of volunteers who supported in the running of the centre and their commitment to the cause and vision of the charity inspired her to continue working within a volunteer team.

Meet Jennifer Lippiatt: Volunteer and Influencing Support Officer for South East

What attracted you to the role at Diabetes UK?

It was while finding out information for my friends diabetes diagnosis that I came across Diabetes UK. I’ve done lots of volunteering myself and have seen first-hand the value volunteering can bring to the individual and the community.

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Could you explain a bit about your new role?

I’m the Volunteer and Influencing Support Officer for the South East region. I am the main contact point for all local and community groups in the region, providing them and the South East volunteer development team with administrative support. I also support our Head of Region and Improving Care Manager with the influencing work in the region, which revolves around improving the care and services people with diabetes receive.

Outside of the office, how do you enjoy spending your time?

I play netball and enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I am keen on travelling to new places.

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