Inspirational Newtownabbey volunteer wins Diabetes UK award

Awards host Emma-Louise Johnston, Diabetes UK Northern Ireland National Director, Jillian Patchett, award winner Tom Rush and Click Energy Managing Director, Damian Wilson' �Press Eye/Darren Kidd
Awards host Emma-Louise Johnston, Diabetes UK Northern Ireland National Director, Jillian Patchett, award winner Tom Rush and Click Energy Managing Director, Damian Wilson' �Press Eye/Darren Kidd

A dedicated volunteer from Newtownabbey has won a Diabetes UK Inspire Award for his volunteering efforts.

Tom Rush was presented with the award at a ceremony held at the Titanic Belfast on June 2.

Tom, who is involved in the Diabetes UK Research Partnership, has been speaking out about diabetes and working with local researchers to ensure the perspective of the person living with diabetes is considered in research projects.

Collecting the award, Tom said: “I had been enjoying hearing about all the wonderful work of volunteers and then when my name was called to collect my award I was really shocked. I appreciate all the different aspects of volunteering with Diabetes UK and I have made some fantastic friends along the way so I would like to thank the people who nominated me; I am a bit taken aback by it all!”

The Inspire Awards recognise the invaluable contribution of the volunteers and groups that go above and beyond for people with diabetes. Diabetes can affect anyone − in Northern Ireland there are over 100,000 people living with diabetes. Its impact and complications can be devastating but with the right treatment, knowledge and support people with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.

Jillian Patchett, National Director at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said: “Tom supports so many events and activities and his work with researchers has yielded fantastic results. If there is an opportunity to talk about diabetes and raise awareness then he will happily do what he can, to reach as many people as possible.

“Huge thanks to Tom for always being willing to help and I would like to extend that thanks to all of our fantastic volunteers – we could not do what we do without your help, dedication and support. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and to those who continue to support people living with diabetes below the radar.”

Click Energy Managing Director, Damian Wilson, said: “The staff at Click Energy selected Diabetes UK Northern Ireland as the charity of the year for our organisation and we are thrilled to have been able to work together on this event as part of our charity partnership. The Inspire Awards provide a great platform for recognising and rewarding the contributions of the many volunteers who are doing great work to support those living with diabetes and to raise awareness surrounding the condition in Northern Ireland.”

Each winner received an Inspire Award from Diabetes UK and a gift from Click Energy including £250 vouchers for Hastings Hotels and for Currys/PC World.