A LOCAL group providing support and advice for people affected by diabetes in West Dorset has won an award from Diabetes UK.

The charity’s West Dorset Local Group – which meets in Dorchester and works to provide education, support, advice and social opportunities for people affected by diabetes in the area – has won the Voluntary Group award at the charity’s Inspire Awards.

The group hold regular meetings in Dorchester which often involve talks from healthcare professionals to help members learn about the best ways to keep healthy and avoid some of the serious complications of diabetes, which include problems with the eyes, kidneys and feet.

West Dorset group chairman Henry Bartlett said the group was delighted to win.

He added: “This group has a great, hard-working committee and a big membership with well-attended meetings.

“We have good relationships with our local healthcare professionals as we really want to improve care for all people with diabetes in the area.

“Our six meetings a year are open to all; we are always delighted to see new people attend.”

Last year, the group raised £10,000 for Diabetes UK for research projects and support for people with diabetes.

Phaedra Perry, South West regional manager for Diabetes UK, said: “The members of this local group are friendly, committed and do a brilliant job offering people a chance to meet others.

“The West Dorset local group supports people at all stages of their diabetes journey, from diagnosis onwards, and they are worthy recipients of the award.

“Thanks to our network of volunteers, we’re helping people with diabetes manage their condition, campaigning to improve the quality of care available to them, funding pioneering research into the condition and working to stem the rising tide of diabetes.”

Diabetes UK is the biggest charitable funder of diabetes research in the UK. In 2012, the charity invested more than £5.8million into groundbreaking research into Type 1, Type 2, and other forms of diabetes.

To find out more email south.west@ diabetes.org.uk or call 01823 448260.