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Inspirational Bolton grandmother wins Diabetes UK award

A grandmother who has gone above and beyond to raise awareness of diabetes across the Bolton area has been honoured by Diabetes UK. 

Ila Shah of Bolton with her 2020 Inspire Award

IIa Shah, 77, of Great Lever, has been a highly-valued volunteer for us since her husband Nanubhai passed away in 2012. Mr Shah had lived with type 2 diabetes for more than 20 years.

Since 2013, Mrs Shah has raised about £25,000 for Diabetes UK as well as working across the Bolton area to deliver talks and events which spread awareness of the condition.

Her efforts were celebrated, and rewarded, at the 2020 Inspire Awards, held each year to recognise the work of Diabetes UK’s supporters and volunteers.

Mrs Shah, who won the Reaching Out and Connecting Award for the North West region, said: “I was very grateful to receive this award and it is for the Bolton community – all the volunteers and people who have helped me over the years. I’d also like to thank the North of England team at Diabetes UK. They have been fantastic and have supported me very much. I’m so thankful for that.”

Mrs Shah’s Inspire Award win was secured thanks to her incredible efforts in the community across the previous year, which included linking up with local schools and the Bolton Hindu Forum to raise awareness of diabetes. She is now the proud owner of two Inspire Awards, having received one in 2013 for raising funds through the Boltonian Charity Walk, which she set up to raise funds for diabetes research.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK, said: “Mrs Shah is a true community champion. She has worked tirelessly across Bolton to support Diabetes UK, delivering events and encouraging people in the local community to become volunteers. She is always on hand to support us as and when we call on her. In addition, Mrs Shah has raised a phenomenal amount of money for Diabetes UK through various fundraising activities. She is a real inspiration and a deserving winner of this award.”

Mrs Shah received her Inspire Award from Diabetes UK through the post and attended an online awards ceremony, with fellow winners from the North West region. Her sons, Bolton-based Rajen and Sohal, who lives in America, were able to watch the awards night along with their children, so it was a real family affair.

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