Inspirational Swindon duo nominated for Diabetes UK award

By Jamie Hill - 9 June 2020


Nationwide employee Elaine Sullivan, and Ellie Olds who works for the society’s catering partner Baxter Storey, have been nominated for an Inspire Award from Diabetes UK.

Last year Elaine organised a diabetes awareness evening at Nationwide’s head office in Swindon, attracting 60 employees who learnt all about diabetes. It was such a success that Elaine and Ellie both organised two further events – incorporating a variety of different activities including a cooking session of a dietitian-approved meal in the onsite restaurant. Each event engaged over 100 people. Elaine and Ellie, who both do all this on top of their normal day-to-day jobs, have been nominated in the supporting Diabetes UK category for an Inspire Award. This award recognises the tireless ‘behind-the-scenes’ work of volunteers alongside Diabetes UK.

Both are delighted to be nominated. Ellie said: “To be nominated for this award was completely unexpected but also such an honour, so thank you. As a type 1 diabetic myself I feel very passionate about raising awareness of diabetes and supporting Diabetes UK as much as I can.

“The work we did at Nationwide was so rewarding and a great way to engage with people and provide them with a better understanding of the condition, the implications it can have on lives and also how making lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“The team we worked with were so engaging and supportive and I really hope we can work with them again in the future and continue to support Diabetes UK.”

Elaine said: “I care about social wellbeing and as an employee of Nationwide I feel very lucky that we’re encouraged to support charities that are important to us and help make a difference to communities.

I’m someone who is passionate about health education, from my time at the Department of Health as well as my role on the local GP surgery’s patient participation group, and this led me to think about how I could talk to my colleagues about diabetes to help raise awareness. We hosted a few successful educational events and I was so thrilled with how it all went. I certainly didn’t expect to receive an award, and I am over the moon, thank you Diabetes UK.”

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.

Phaedra Perry, Regional Head Diabetes UK South West, said: “Elaine and Ellie are both passionate about supporting the work of Diabetes UK with Ellie also running a half marathon to raise funds for us. They both heartily deserve this nomination.

“Our volunteers and fundraisers 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 through their support.”

The Inspire Awards celebrate Diabetes UK’s dedicated volunteers who campaign to improve the quality of care available to people with diabetes, fundraise for pioneering research, raise awareness to stem the rising tide of diabetes and provide vital peer support and connection to others living with all types of diabetes within their local communities.

This year our Inspire Awards are taking place on Wednesday, 10 June and, for the first time due to Covid-19, we will be holding the ceremony online.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer for Diabetes UK, or to join a local support group, please email or call 01823 448260.

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