“Volunteering is in my blood. Being a Community Champion gave me the confidence to get out there and talk to people. You just feel so good that you’ve helped even one person.” - Rohit Patel
Meet our very first Volunteer Spotlight.
Rohit is a Diabetes UK Community Champion and the President of Wembley Lions Club, where he is also the District Diabetes Officer for his area. In these roles, Rohit has given talks about diabetes to a whole host of different audiences.
His duties also involve running stands at events, using social media to raise awareness and offering support to people living with Type 2 Diabetes. “I spoke to someone at an event recently whose father had diabetes and was struggling to manage it. I shared my story of how I look after my diabetes and she was very grateful”.
Diagnosis and Lions Club
Many of Rohit’s close family have Type 2 diabetes, so he proactively had regular screenings. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2003. Rohit already had an active lifestyle, but he knew he would need to do more, as well as change his diet, in order to take control of his diabetes. After changing his lifestyle, Rohit took control of his diabetes. He wanted to share his experiences in the hope of helping others. This is when he turned to the Lions Club.
The Lions Club is part of the Lions International network, which offers volunteer support to good causes throughout the UK. Rohit’s Lions Club regularly holds events to support people living with diabetes, and Rohit wanted to make sure the information he was giving at these events was right. This was when he got involved with our Community Champions programme.
As part of our mission to live in a world where diabetes can do no harm, we help train people from communities all over the country to become Community Champions, which empowers them to spread the word about Type 2 diabetes. After taking part in a two-day training programme, Rohit was ready to raise awareness about diabetes in his community – but he didn’t stop there.
When the Lions Club found out about Rohit volunteering for us, they asked him to become a District Diabetes Officer. This involves him helping an incredible 80 clubs in his region by sharing his diabetes expertise. This new role has enabled Rohit to recruit more Community Champions. Not only is he raising awareness in his own community, he is inspiring, empowering and helping others to do the same for theirs.
At a recent event in West London, Rohit, with the help of his fellow Lions Club volunteers, spoke to over 200 people. This included lots of people living with diabetes who were in need of support and guidance, as well as those wanting to know how to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes. It was a brilliant achievement, and made Rohit feel very proud.
Looking to the future
Rohit wants to use his platform as District Diabetes Officer to help as many people as possible. “I want to motivate more Lions Club volunteers to become Community Champions, which will mean more clubs can help people in their local community. I have spoken to other clubs ahead of the next Community Champion training session, and two people have already come forward. I’ll continue to try and motivate more people.”