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Diabetes UK volunteers from Wimborne win awards

By mbarber  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

  • Rob Healey receives his award

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Two men from Wimborne have been recognised for their work with Diabetes UK.

Henry Bartlett won the Raise your Voice award and Rob Healey, the Fundraising Award at the charity’s regional Inspire Awards, held in Taunton recently.

Henry, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1997, now injects insulin daily to control the condition.

He is chairman of the Diabetes UK West Dorset Local Group and a Diabetes UK volunteer.

He said: “Through my own experience of diabetes, I know how important it is that the voice of people with the condition is heard by those involved in healthcare. I have good relationships with healthcare professionals in the area to help my work in improving the services available to all people in Dorset with diabetes.”

Rob Healey is a swimming coach who has given up a huge amount of time to help prepare swimmers for the relay crossing of the English Channel.

Teams of up to six swimmers swim for an hour at a time in the gruelling annual Diabetes UK challenge. The whole 22-mile crossing between Dover and Cap Gris Nez in France takes at least 15 hours.

Rob travels to Dover three times a year to train the swimmers and offer advice on open water swimming. He has now coached 104 swimmers plus reserves, and as a result of his dedication and expert knowledge, all 18 of Diabetes UK's channel relay teams have had successful crossings.

Rob, who is in the Army, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes more than 20 years ago.

He said: “It is amazing that an idea I had a few years ago has now led to about £300,000 being raised over the years for Diabetes UK. We have always tried to make it a really inclusive event, and the participants have ranged from a 13-year-old through to a 70-year-old.”

Find out more about the Channel Swim Relay 2014 at www.diabetes.org.uk/Events_in_full/Fundraising/challenge-events/Other-challenges/Relay-race-across-the-English-Channel-2012/

Find out about the Diabetes UK challenge to swim the width of the English Channel in your local pool at www.diabetes.org.uk/swim22

Diabetes UK has more than 570 registered volunteers in the South West region, many of which also belong to the charity’s 23 groups. To find out more about becoming a volunteer for Diabetes UK, please email south.west@diabetes.org.uk or call 01823 448260.

People can find out more about Diabetes UK local groups in their area at www.diabetes.org.uk/South_West

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