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Diabetes UK Cymru named “Change Makers” at inaugural Welsh Charity Awards

Diabetes UK Cymru has won a prestigious award at the inaugural Welsh Charity Awards, organised by WCVA to honour excellence in the third sector in Wales.

The charity was named as the winner of the ‘Change Makers Award’ at a  prestigious ceremony at the National Museum in Cardiff. It received the award in recognition of its work to increase awareness of Type 1 diabetes, and support for children living with the condition, across Wales.

The charity brought together a group of organisations to form the Care in Schools Alliance, to lobby for children with medical conditions such as Type 1 diabetes to receive the support they need in school. The Alliance successfully lobbied AMs to push for an amendment to the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Bill, to include medical conditions alongside Special Educational Needs and Learning Disabilities.

The amendment to the Additional Learning Needs Bill, means that the 1400 children and young people living with Type 1 diabetes across Wales are given a level playing field to fulfil their potential, and achieve equally to their peers.

The charity also launched Know Type 1, a campaign to raise awareness of the early symptoms of the condition, so that children can be safely diagnosed before they become seriously unwell. The campaign was inspired and spearheaded by the Baldwin family, from Cardiff, whose son, Peter, passed away as a result of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes when he was 13.

The family’s petition, supported by Diabetes UK Cymru and the Children and Young People’s Diabetes Network, led to the Welsh Government Petitions Committee making 10 recommendations to increase early diagnosis of the condition last year.

Peter’s parents, Beth and Stuart Baldwin, were at the ceremony on Friday 15 November to receive the award alongside the charity.

Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Change Makers award at the first-ever Welsh Charity Awards.

“We are so proud to work with the Baldwin family on the Know Type 1 campaign to ensure children are diagnosed sooner and more safely. Several of the recommendations from the Petitions Committee have already been implemented, and most importantly, we know of several children who have been diagnosed safely as a direct result of hearing Beth so courageously share their families’ story. The campaign is Peter’s legacy and something we are so proud to continue to work on.

“This was very much a team effort; we could not have achieved such fantastic success alone. We’d like to thank the Baldwin family, the members of the Care in Schools Alliance, the Children and Young People’s Diabetes Network and Professor Justin Warner, paediatric endocrinologist at the University Hospital of Wales and a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion, for their ongoing work and support.”

Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of WCVA, organisers of the brand-new Welsh Charity Awards, said: ‘All the winners have set the standard for excellence in the third sector in Wales: most certainly a shining light! The judging panel was blown away by the real dedication and passion shown in delivering their life-changing services, and the way they have made a real difference to the lives of so many. Only a select few were shortlisted, so winning this award is really rather special. They should be very proud of themselves.’

The entry date for next year’s awards will be announced in the New Year.