Two men from the North-East have been recognised by national charity Diabetes UK, for their work supporting people with the condition.
Mike Gerrard, from Gateshead, who last year cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes and Martyn Pridmore from Newcastle who has supported young people with Type 1 diabetes at care events have both been recognised for their efforts, with each receiving one of the charity’s regional Inspire Awards.
Mike was presented with the ‘Fundraising Award’ while Martyn received the ‘Supporting Others’ award in recognition of their efforts at the Sage on Saturday 29 April.
Mike, 58, took up his cycle challenge after losing more than 10 stone following a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes in 2012. The dad of two started a series of cycle challenges two years ago which culminated in him pedaling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in August 2016 and has raised over £6,000 for the charity.
Mike said: “Receiving an Inspire Award was an unexpected honour. I was delighted to be able to raise the amount I did and this has motivated me to continue my efforts to raise the profile of diabetes in the UK and particularly the North-East.”
Martyn, 22, first got involved supporting the charity’s work, while attending their care events as a child. Having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 11, he realised how helpful it was to meet other people living with the condition and to share experiences, so in his late teens began to volunteer at the events himself.
Martyn has now been supporting young people at care events for over 5 years.
The student, who is in his final year of a social work course at Northumbria University said: “I always wanted to help people and the Type 1 care events offered a fun opportunity to do this. I always felt that I have had a much easier experience of living with Type 1 diabetes but think that this was helped by the support I received from others and so I wanted to be able to do this for others.”
Both men have a relationship with the Sage. Mike is a professional musician with the Royal Northern Sinfonia while Martyn sings in the Inspiration choir who have performed with the orchestra at the iconic venue.
Stephen Ryan, Head of the North at Diabetes UK said: “We are incredibly impressed with the hard work of both Mike and Martyn, raising awareness and supporting people living with diabetes.
“Through our Inspire Awards we thank our hard working supporters, like Mike and Martyn, for their contributions and highlight the positive difference their work has made to the lives of people who are living with diabetes.