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Volunteer Spotlight - July 2024 - Ruth Portway

Ruth is an events volunteer from Kent.

Ruth Portway June Spotlight photo

Ruth Portway

Volunteering gives you a way of knowing that you are making a difference.


Volunteer Spotlight - July 2024 - Ruth Portway

Ruth Portway, 77, is a retired nurse and health service manager who lives on St Mary’s Island near Chatham in Kent. She has volunteered with us for 10 years. 

Her husband and son both live with type 2 diabetes. Ruth says “I have seen how difficult it can be for people to live with diabetes, both from a professional point of view as a former nurse and from a personal point of view."

Talking to People

Ruth says: “I am a listening ear. I’ve found that taking the time to listen to people helps them think things through and make their own decisions about managing diabetes.

“I help with events and stalls in various locations mostly in Kent (which is a big county!) for Diabetes UK. As well as listening, I’m there to help point people in the direction of help and advice. Sometimes people just aren’t aware of the importance of regular health check-ups, for example, which will give them a better quality of life.”

Looking to the Future

Ruth says: “When people ask me about volunteering, I tell them that I know from my working life that people do better when they have support.

“The good thing about volunteering is that you can give what time you have available but can set your own schedule. And you can stay local or go further afield. If anyone is interested in volunteering, I would suggest they simply look around their own community, their own locality and think about what they can do to help.”

If you’ve been inspired by Ruth’s story, check out our volunteering opportunities.

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