A dietitian has won an Unsung Hero award from Diabetes UK NI for her longstanding dedication in helping people living with diabetes.
Lesley Hamilton, Diabetes Network Manager at the Western Health and Social Care Trust, won a Unsung Hero Inspire Award for her work to educate patients and staff on diabetes. She's also been the driving force in various Diabetes UK NI projects.
She was one of a total of 13 Inspire Award winners who were celebrated during an online winners’ ceremony on 26 November 2020.
The Inspire Awards celebrate Diabetes UK NI’s dedicated volunteers and health professionals. These are people who campaign to improve the quality of care available to people with diabetes. They also fundraise for pioneering research and raise awareness of diabetes.
Lesley is a diabetes dietitian who has generously given up her time so members of the charity’s local support groups can learn about how technology can help them manage their diabetes. She also helps those with hearing difficulties learn more about living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
The judges were also impressed by how the Diabetes UK NI Clinical Champion has continued to develop and deliver an Integrated Care Pathway at the Health Trust. This offers a key point of referral for people with diabetes. It's also led to improved communication from diabetes clinics and has generally improved a ‘one stop-shop’ service for people living with the condition.
Diabetes UK NI wanted to recognise how Lesley’s work is having a positive impact on the lives of people with diabetes.
Lesley says: “I’m surprised and delighted to have won an Inspire Award. I enjoy working with Diabetes UK NI as it is a charity close to my heart.
“This award is totally unexpected but it’s great to be recognised as a valued health professional and for playing an important part in the wider Diabetes UK NI family.”
Tina McCrossan, National Director of Diabetes UK NI, said: “Lesley has worked as a Diabetes dietitian in the NHS for 22 years. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience that she generously shares with patients and other medical professionals alike.
"Lesley is a member of our Northern Ireland Advisory Council (NIAC) group and is a key player in assisting Diabetes UK NI deliver its Living with Diabetes Days.
"She is always willing to support us in a wide-range of projects and volunteer her time. Lesley’s support has been steadfast over the years and her passion to help people living with diabetes shines through.”
She added: “Our health professionals are working hard with the community day in and day out. Our much-needed work wouldn’t be possible without their incredible support and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to them all. They make an enormous difference through their support.”
To find out more about becoming a volunteer for Diabetes UK NI, or to join a local support group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0746 9154 823.