CCG staff member scoops volunteering award

NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group's community liaison officer has received a volunteering award from leading charity Diabetes UK.

Andy Lavender, 50, (pictured with fiancee Sue, right) chairs the Chester Diabetes UK group and received the ‘Supporting Others’ award in recognition of his work as part of the charity’s regional Inspire Awards.

Andy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at just 2 years old and has experienced complications as a result of the condition. He has helped many others in the local area by volunteering his time to support people who are newly diagnosed, people who are struggling with their condition and their families and friends.

Andy said: “This award means a great deal to me and is something I am very proud of.”

Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin. It is treated with daily insulin doses and is the most common form of diabetes in children. Symptoms include tiredness, weight loss, extreme thirst and going to the toilet more frequently.

In 2011 Andy narrowly avoided having part of his left foot amputated after an ulcer on his foot became infected. The impact this had on Andy was significant and was a huge motivation for Andy to take control of his condition - having found it difficult to manage his diabetes for many years.

“My journey has not always been easy," Andy added. "I just wanted to help make sure others didn’t have to go through some of the things I had, and encourage those at risk of Type 2 diabetes that the effort involved to turn that possibility around was worth it.”

Stephen Ryan, Head of the North at Diabetes UK, said: “Andy’s hard work and dedication to supporting people living with diabetes and raising awareness of the condition is inspirational and it is an honour to be able to recognise his efforts in this way.

“Through our Inspire Awards we thank our hard working volunteers, like Andy, for their contributions and highlight the positive difference their work has made to the lives of people who are living with diabetes.

“Our volunteers are out there working hard in the community day in and day out. Our much-needed work 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.”

To find out more about the Inspire Awards, go online at: www.diabetes.org.uk/inspire-awards

To find out more about the Chester Diabetes UK Group visit: http://chester.diabetesukgroup.org/

Date added: 19/05/2017

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