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Foyle diabetes support group wins national Inspire Award

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Two dedicated volunteers from Foyle, who set up a support group in the area for people with diabetes, have won a volunteering award from leading charity Diabetes UK.

Group founders Anne Beattie and George Anderson (pictured above with Diabetes UK CEO, Chris Askew) were presented with the UK Inspire Award in the Reaching Out and Connecting category at a special ceremony in Birmingham on 5 July. 

Both Anne and George are living with Type 1 diabetes and have worked tirelessly to connect with people across Derry/Londonderry, offering a varied programme of activities in various locations, building key relationships, alternating meeting venues to reach as many people as possible, setting up fundraising events and providing support to everyone living with diabetes in the Foyle area.

The UKInspire Awardsrecognise the invaluable contribution of the volunteers and groups that go above and beyond for people with diabetes. An independent panel chooses the finalists and winners in the six award categories from hundreds of nominations from communities across the country. 

Reaching out and connecting

Following their win, Anne Beattie and George Anderson, collected the award on behalf of the Foyle Support Group and Anne said, “The Foyle Group is thrilled to have been chosen as recipients of this wonderful award. We are of course all part of the same fight against diabetes and we were pleased just to have shared a stage with other groups from around the country. We hope this recognition of our efforts will help others become aware of the assistance the Foyle Group can offer to the community and will encourage others to both support us and join us as we continue our efforts.”

George continued: “The Foyle group has only been going for about 15 months and to be nominated for such an award was absolutely amazing.  Being up on stage with all the other nominees yesterday who also work so hard behind the scenes for Diabetes UK makes us feel like we are doing something right and we hope we can continue to do so in the future. Winning this award has left me personally so thankful to Diabetes UK at recognising our groups efforts. However, as was mentioned throughout the award ceremony, we are all winners.”

Recognising and celebrating volunteers

Heather Causer, Volunteer Development Manager at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said:“Every year, across the UK, thousands of people give their time to help provide support, fundraise for pioneering research and raise awareness of diabetes. The Inspire Awards offer the chance to recognise and celebrate their efforts. 

“I can’t thank the Foyle Support Group enough for their contribution to our work and the positive difference they have made to the lives of people living with diabetes in the local community through their collaboration with the Healthy Living Centre. The Foyle Support Group continues to grow which shows the exciting potential for the future of this group.”

Diabetes can affect anyone - in the UK 4.5 million people are living with the condition and around 11.9 million people are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In Northern Ireland there are over 100,000 people living with diabetes with an estimated 12,000 people living with Type 2 diabetes who have not yet been diagnosed. Its impact and complications can be devastating, causing blindness, amputations, even early death, but with the right treatment, knowledge and support people with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.  

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