Celebrating outstanding volunteers in the south west.
On Thursday 23 May we had the privilege of celebrating our Inspire Awards and what an incredible bunch of volunteers we have in the south west! It was so humbling to hear about the incredible work our volunteers are doing across the region.
With our glad rags on, we held our celebration at the glamorous Castle Hotel in Taunton and were joined by 65 eager guests. After the ceremony everyone was treated to a delicious scone and tea. Here are some snapshots of our winners.
Campaigning and Influencing Award – Shona & Tim Freeborn
Shona and Tim have been involved in several projects to improve services and care in Dorset, whilst keeping the local group meetings going and attending local events. They have shown commitment in the face of adversity, openly challenging decision makers and influencing change that will improve diabetes management for thousands of people. Between them, they've given hundreds of hours and are truly incredible volunteers.
Reaching out and Connecting (Esme Shrapnell Award) – Dexter Fernandes and the Pharmacists
Having contacted Diabetes UK in 2018, Dexter recognised the potential role a Pharmacist can play in reaching out to lesser engaged communities. By using Know Your Risk the group have held numerous events and as a result referred 31 people to their GP.
Supporting Others Award – Rose Lester
As co-founder of the Monday group, Rose is a bedrock of support to so many people within and outside of the North Devon group, using a creative and welcoming approach - including setting up table tennis matches - Rose constantly puts others first.
Supporting Diabetes UK Award – Julia Dinsdale
Julia has shown a strength of character, an investment of time and energy into overcoming hurdles, finding and enabling solutions. Julia acted as unofficial chair and leader throughout Exeter’s transition from Local to Community group, she continues to lead the group with passion and enthusiasm. Unfortunately Julia wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, so her award was received by friend and colleague Tom Epton.
Fundraising Award – Trevor Scarman
Trevor has dedicated his time to fundraising, bringing people together and raising an incredible sum of money in his on-going commitment to create a legacy in the memory of his son Liam.
Young Person’s Outstanding Contribution Award – Rosey Edwardes
Dismayed at Dorset CCG's refusal to prescribe Flash, Rosey stood up for what is right, bravely sharing her story to help others challenge decisions. In writing to the Prime Minister and explaining the financial burdens of Flash, Rosey helped us to force Dorset CCG to prescribe Flash to those who need it.
Local Group and Community Award – Warminster group
Warminster group live and breathe Diabetes UK’s values and vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm. They hold educational talks, campaigned for the DESMOND course to be run in Warminster, encourage members to sign up to walks as part of the Shape for Life initiative and enabled several members of their groups to put their diabetes into remission.
Volunteer of the Year Award – Sandra Tweddell
Sandra has worked tirelessly to further our mission and ensure the voice of those often not heard, is heard by local decision makers. Sandra offers unwavering support to a number of local groups, communities and individuals, as well as national and regional work. She always says yes, and is always gracious.
Long Service Award – Matthew Spencer and Freda Tinson
Matthew has volunteered with the Swindon group for an incredible 25 years and has held the secretarial post for 23 years. He carries out his role brilliantly, organising group meetings and gives the group a reputation for being a place of information and support.
Freda has volunteered with the Swindon group as treasurer for 22 years. She has done a brilliant job of keeping the accounts in order and supporting the group’s presence in the community.
Sadly neither Matthew or Freda were able to attend the awards, so they will receive a special visit to a future group meeting where the awards can be presented.