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Inspiring Surrey volunteer scoops up Diabetes UK award

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A 65-year-old Surrey man who campaigns tirelessly both locally and nationally for better diabetes services has won a volunteering award from leading charity Diabetes UK. 

Campaigning and Influencing Award

(Roy is pictured top right, with Diabetes UK's Simon O'Neill - Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison).

Roy’s campaigning with Diabetes UK began ten years ago with the diagnosis of his 13-year-old son with Type 1 diabetes, a condition that Roy has also been living with for 53 years. His work with the charity’s ‘Putting Feet First’ campaign and with the AMP Shoes pop-up shop in London, which won a third-sector campaigning award last year, has brought wider recognition to the problem of diabetes-related amputations. Diabetes leads to over 140 amputations every week in England – and many of these could be prevented by regular access to specialist foot care at local foot clinics.

Diabetes Voice

Roy, a former freelance analyst/ programmer, took his campaigning to the highest level by engaging with members of parliament. This helped raise the issue of diabetes and foot care with the local CCG. Roy, who has had 5 toes amputated himself, has also spoken at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes (AAPGD) about his personal experiences with amputations, diabetes complications and specialist foot care

Roy, who is also involved with the Guildford and South West Surrey Diabetes UK local group, said: “When my son was diagnosed with Type 1, I knew I had to do something. That’s why I became a ‘Diabetes Voice’ for Diabetes UK. Being a Diabetes Voice has given me the opportunity to speak on behalf of the many courageous people with diabetes I have met in podiatry clinics over the past 15 years.  I have been receiving wonderful care in my particular case but some of the people I have spoken to haven’t been as fortunate as me.  It is important to strive to get all clinics to the same high level of care no matter where in the country you are located.”

Jill Steaton, Regional Head at Diabetes UK in the South East, said: “Roy’s contribution has been amazing. As Roy’s work highlights, getting involved locally can do so much to raise awareness and we are so happy at Diabetes UK to present him with this award to say thank you for his tireless work.”

“Through our Inspire Awards we thank our hard working volunteers, like Roy, 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. The much needed work we do 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.

The Inspire Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding individuals as well as group volunteer efforts. The winners are chosen by judging panels across the UK and are presented with their award at the regional and national Make a Difference conferences held in 2017. The winners of these awards are then placed in a pool to be judged for the UK-wide Inspire Awards which will be presented in summer 2017

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