Chief Executive round up – by Barbara Young

Barbara Young Autumn is always our busy time but particularly this year. Went to all three Political Party Conferences to lobby for people with diabetes and to get higher priority for diabetes care – we need a medal for doing all three! Also had a useful weekend comparing notes with our International Diabetes Federation colleagues across Europe on subjects as diverse as fundraising from the EU, education for self management, multiple long term conditions and engaging with young people.

We are right in the middle of the most uplifting events of the year – our volunteers conferences across the regions, where everybody who is working their socks off for the charity get together to compare notes, hear about Diabetes UK developments and plot for the future. It gives me a big boost to meet all our volunteers and experience all that commitment and enthusiasm.

But times are tough in fundraising as the economic squeeze tightens, and so we’re doing a huge amount of meeting people, pressing the flesh and presenting the pitches to try to raise funds. I got a huge kick from cheering 2,600 runners in blue Diabetes UK vests at the Great North Run earlier in September. I was clad tastefully in blue Diabetes UK crazy hair and had a rattle and a whistle. Anyone publishing the pics will be prosecuted!

The runners’ stories were ace and touching, with many running because of family members with diabetes. Huge thanks to all our runners, swimmers, can rattlers, coffee morning fixers, corporate and individual givers and everyone who helps raise the money we need to do valuable work for people with diabetes and those at risk. Keep at it, because times are hard.

As a good Chief Executive leads from the front, I have pledged to do the 12 Bridges Challenge in November, 12 bridges across the Thames in London, with convenient coffee shops and pubs when we flag a bit. Delighted if anyone wants to sponsor me – you can find me on JustGiving!

Editor’s note:Sorry Barbara!

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