Sue Bradley was presented with an Inspire Award from Diabetes UK for her tireless campaigning and awareness raising.
Her crusade began after her son Ollie, 16, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was seven years old. As well as being Ollie’s carer, she also works as a community respiratory specialist nurse at Shropshire Community Health Trust.
Sue is a service champion for the region and works tirelessly with Ollie to raise awareness of Diabetes in the UK. Her campaigns have led to improvements in the standards of care for school pupils with type 1 diabetes across Shropshire and taken her to the Houses of Parliament, where she lobbied MPs and sought support for more mental and emotional support.
And now Sue and Ollie have taken their fight to social media, where they have produced a series of videos aimed at young people with diabetes.
Sue said: “It’s a real privilege and honour to receive this award.
“Volunteering for Diabetes UK gives me the opportunity to raise awareness and share valuable information. I am passionate about improving the services available to young people with diabetes and I am proud of the changes that have been made in recent years.
“There are a lot of misconceptions out there, especially regarding type 1 diabetes. People with type one diabetes cannot produce insulin. About eight per cent of people with diabetes have type one. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It is the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.
“What I would like to see for the future would be an increase in the amount of psychological well-being support and actually recognition that looking after mental health is equally as important as the physical health needs. And more investment in those services to help support people and families like us. You know if you look after your emotional health and your mind then you can have a full fulfilling and happy life with a medical condition.”
As well as supporting Ollie with his condition, Sue continues to work full time, on the front line, delivering face to face care as a community respiratory specialist nurse, supporting patients who live with chronic respiratory conditions in their own home and supporting them out of hospital.
The Inspire Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding individuals as well as group volunteer efforts. The winners are chosen by judging panels across the UK.