A volunteer from Connah’s Quay, who through his involvement with the local Chester Diabetes UK Group has supported people struggling with diabetes in the local area has received a volunteering award from leading charity Diabetes UK.
Andy Lavender, 50, who is chairman of the group, received the ‘Supporting Others’ award in recognition of his work, as part of the charity’s regional Inspire Awards.
Andy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 2 years old and has experienced complications as a result of the condition. He has helped many others in the local area by volunteering his time to supporting people who are newly diagnosed with diabetes, people who are struggling with their condition and their families and friends.
Andy, a Community Liaison Officer for the West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This award means a great deal to me and is something I am very proud of.”
In 2011 Andy narrowly avoided having part of his left foot amputated after an ulcer on his foot became infected. The impact this had on Andy was significant and was a huge motivator for Andy to take control of his condition, having found it difficult to manage his diabetes for many years.
Andy added: “My journey has not always been easy and I just wanted to help make sure others didn’t have to go through some of the things I had, and encourage those at risk of Type 2 diabetes that the effort involved to turn that possibility around was worth it.”
Stephen Ryan, Head of the North at Diabetes UK, said: “Andy’s hard work and dedication to supporting people living with diabetes and raising awareness of the condition is inspirational and it is an honor to be able to recognise his efforts in this way.