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Worcestershire diabetes campaigner recognised with British Citizen Award

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Diabetes UK stalwart Fred Holland, 80, is chair of ourKidderminster and Wyre Forest Local Group, and has tirelessly campaigned to improve the care received by people living with diabetes.

He is a prominent fundraiser and health campaigner has been recognised with a British Citizen Award for services to healthcare after giving years of support and fundraising for diabetes causes in Worcestershire and beyond.

Fred, from Kidderminster, was presented with a British Citizen Award (BCA) at Westminster Palace in January. The ceremony was hosted by TV presenter and BCA patron Bradley Walsh (pictured above, left, with Fred). In 2012, the Diabetes Centre at Kidderminster Hospital was renamed the Fred Holland Centre for Diabetes in honour of the awareness and fundraising work he had done.

TheBritish Citizen Awards(BCAs) were launched to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society.

BCAs are awarded twice annually, and recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked. Fred estimated that he has raised up to £2 million for good causes over the last 58 years and is now a diabetes champion with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which runs the Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre.

Fred was nominated for his BCA by Rev. Guy Hewlett, Chaplain at Kidderminster Hospital.

Fred is an absolute marvel. He never stops and is someone who is focused, kind, compassionate and really wants to make a difference to people’s lives. He’s an incredible chap, he’s incredibly inspiring and is really deserving of this award.

Rev Guy Hewlett

Fred said: “I’ve never been given anything like this before, it’s really amazing. I feel it’s my dedication in life to help others and to help save lives by improving diabetes awareness and care.

“I reckon I must have raised close to £2 million over the years for various causes. At Kidderminster we now have what I believe is some of the best diabetes care and facilities in the world.

“I turned 80 last year and I’m always busy, but I’ve got no intention of slowing down just yet.”

Fred became aware of the need for greater diabetes awareness in 1971, when his daughter, Vivienne, was diagnosed withType 1 diabetes.

He launched a support group the same year and has continued to be its chairman ever since. Fred’s services to diabetes care received international recognised in 2014 when he became the first British person to receive an award from the International Diabetes Federation.

His award was noted by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who wrote to him telling him it was an ‘amazing achievement’ and that Fred was ‘an inspiration to others’.

Peter Shorrick, Diabetes UK Midlands Regional Head, said: "Fred is a very worthy recipient of this award. He has been an amazing supporter of Diabetes UK for nearly half a century and is still as enthusiastic now. His commitment has not only raised a phenomenal amount of money for vital research, but his campaigning has really improved services for people living with diabetes in the area." 

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