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London’s inspiring volunteers are celebrated at our annual conference

Volunteers celebrated their achievements at our annual event to mark the huge contribution they make to the lives of people living with diabetes in the London region - and the winners of the 2018 Inspire Awards were presented with their trophies.


Congratulations to all the winners - see more below - all our volunteers and everyone who nominated.

Fundraising Inspire Award winner - Wayne Hannaway


First, we say well done to Wayne and friends, winners of the Fundraising Inspire Award, for their wonderful efforts in putting on a fun day in memory of their dear friend Matthew Sell. Planning is already well underway for this summer’s event which will be held in the grounds of Henderson’s Sports and Social Club, Kenilworth Road, Romford, on Saturday, July 21, from 12 noon until the evening. Put it in your diaries.

Wayne is pictured with our operations director Colette Marshall.

Supporting Diabetes UK award winner - Tania Aubeeklack

Tania, aged just 22, was presented with the prestigious Supporting Diabetes UK award. Last year she took home the Reaching out and Connecting People award. Tania undertakes many roles for us. She is an intern with the Engaging Communities team and she is also a very active Community Champion, an event and speaker volunteer and a Diabetes Voice, helping campaign on behalf of people with diabetes.

She says: “I spotted the need for awareness-raising in the Tamil community in Ealing and am happy to say that I now run monthly events with the community. I also enjoy helping often newly trained volunteers to find their feet.”

Read more about Tania's experiences of volunteering.

Supporting Diabetes UK award winner - Robin Swindell


Thank you to Robin, 49 who received the Supporting Diabetes UK Inspire Award in recognition of his hard work in several volunteering roles.

Robin was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2013. He called our Helpline for advice on changing to his diet and becoming more active. Robin subsequently lost 50kg in weight - a great personal achievement - and now manages his diabetes largely through diet and exercise.

Robin is a very active supporter for us, taking part in media campaigns and interviews, as well as giving inspirational talks at local groups. He is one of the volunteers who assists the charity in setting research priorities through the clinical Studies Groups and was appointed as one of our Trustees last year.

He is pictured (left) with our head of volunteering Andy Broomhead.

Campaigning and Raise Awareness winner - Mavis Alagar


Mavis won the Campaigning and Raising Awareness Inspire Award. She has supported us on both national and local stages

Mavis is a member of several Bromley NHS bodies as a patient representative. This allows her to target health care professionals and decision-makers to press for better care for people with diabetes in the borough.

She has also successfully lobbied her MP and subsequently welcomed him to a local Diabetes UK meeting in Bromley.

Mavis is pictured with Andy Broomhead.

Local group winner - Ilford and District 

The Ilford & District Diabetes UK local support group won the Inspire Award for Local Groups.


The group has been working alongside people in the community for more than 55 years and continues to a great support to local people who are living with diabetes. As well as attending awareness events around Redbridge and holding monthly meetings, members organise day trips, short breaks and fundraising activities.

As well as their support role, the group has had fantastic success in fundraising and has just donated £7,300 to Diabetes UK. Over the past five years the group has donated a total of £33,500 to the charity.

Secretary Christine Potts collected the award on behalf of the group and said: “I am delighted to receive the award on behalf of the Ilford & District Group which has so many fantastic helpers willing to contribute their time to all the different activities arranged by the group.” New members are welcome to come to meetings which are held at Valentine’s Mansion - see the group's website for details.

Christine Potts collects the award from our operations director Colette Marshall. 

Reaching Out and Connecting People Inspire Award - Tim Read


Croydon campaigner Tim Read, who has Type 1 diabetes and is Chair of the Croydon Diabetes UK Local Group, received the award in recognition of his hard work over many years, helping people across Croydon who have diabetes.

His group worked with health bosses, the BME Forum and the central Diabetes UK team to put on the event for almost 100 people called Type 2 Diabetes and the Croydon Community in April last year, with presentations on research findings, diabetes and local services.

Roz Rosenblatt, head of London Region at Diabetes UK, said: “The BAME event and ongoing activities are a team effort, but Tim was the driving force. Tim has given a huge amount of his own time over the years to raising awareness, giving talks and creating links in the community.

Tim Read receives his award from Andy Broomhead

Young Person's Award - St Mary's School, Hare Park

Last, but not least, the Young Person’s award was given collectively to St Mary’s School, Hare Park, for fundraising and raising awareness of diabetes. As the school was just starting its Easter break, they weren’t able to attend and collect the award which will be sent to them instead.

"Our Inspire Awards thank our hard working volunteers for their contributions and highlight the positive difference their work makes to the lives of people who are living with diabetes. We are very grateful to them all", Head of our region Roz Rosenblatt.

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