A Bexhill couple who have raised over £5,000 for Diabetes UK have won a fundraising volunteering award from leading charity Diabetes UK.
Local poet and author, Claire Baldry and her husband Chris won the Fundraising Diabetes UK award in recognition of their hard work, at the charity’s regional Inspire Awards.
Claire started the Bexhill Fundraising Group in 2015 with her husband Chris who has Type 1 diabetes. She has done a number of fundraising events locally as well as raising awareness through a very active Facebook page. She's also written an autobiography in which she talks about how she met Chris and what life is like living with someone with diabetes.
Claire's novel fundraising ideas included an event with TV antiques celebrity Simon Schneider from David Dickinson’s ‘Real Deal’. Claire also talks on behalf of Diabetes UK to educational groups and rotaries. She also does a number of light-hearted poetry readings with the fees going to the charity.
Claire, aged 62, said: “Both Chris and I are dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Diabetes UK. There’s a lot planned for 2017 including running stalls at the local Gala and Classic Car Show and a fundraising quiz at the Town Square Social Club. We are passionate about wanting to make a difference and fundraising is an important part of that. We raised £2,000 in 2015 and over £3,000 last year. This year we want to smash that target and raise even more.”
Since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over 30 years ago, Claire’s husband Chris has experienced chronic eye complications.
Chris, aged 66, said: “Volunteering for Diabetes UK gives me the opportunity to raise awareness and share valuable information. Four insulin injections a day for three decades and more recently, learning to manage an insulin pump has been an everyday struggle. I really want people to be aware that the associated complications from diabetes can be severe – no matter how bad you feel, you must, must, must take good care of it. Tackle it head on and take it seriously.”
Jill Steaton, Regional Manager at Diabetes UK in the South East, said: “Claire and Chris are wonderful. They are always there to help us with whatever needs doing. Dedicated volunteers, we are lucky to have their expertise. Their work locally really has a positive impact in raising awareness.
“Through our Inspire Awards we thank our hard working volunteers, like Claire and Chris, for their contributions and highlight the positive difference their work has made to the lives of people who are living with diabetes."
“There are more than 4.5 million people with diabetes, and our dedicated volunteers help them to manage their condition, campaign to improve the quality of care available to them, fundraise for pioneering research and work to stem the rising tide of diabetes.
"Our volunteers are out there working hard in 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 all of our volunteers who make an enormous difference through their support."