A ‘community champion’ from Carlisle who has worked tirelessly to raise funds for Diabetes UK since the passing of his wife has been honoured by the charity.
Brian Hough, 62, of Stanwix, won the North West Fundraising Award at the 2020 Inspire Awards, which are held each year to recognise the invaluable contribution of volunteers who go above and beyond for people living with diabetes.
Brian lost his wife Lorraine in 2009 due to complications with her diabetes. In her memory, he set up the Lorraine Hough Tribute Fund, which has raised many thousands of pounds for Diabetes UK as well as raising awareness of the condition across Cumbria.
Brian sponsors three local sports clubs – Creighton RUFC, and football clubs Creighton Veterans and UniSun Athletic. Their respective kits carry the Lorraine Hough Tribute Fund Diabetes UK logo and money generated by the clubs’ various fundraising activities goes to the charity. Brian also arranges collections at two local pubs in Carlisle, The Apple Tree and The Beehive, who also hold events for the charity. A JustGiving page set up by Brian has brought more than £16,000, though the amount he has helped raise over the years is much higher as the results of some events and other donations are made direct to Diabetes UK.
Brian, who was awarded an MBE last year for services to the community and Diabetes UK, sees raising awareness of diabetes as being every bit as important as his fundraising work.
He said: “When you have sports teams running around in ‘Diabetes UK Lorraine Hough Tribute Fund’ kits, it stimulates conversation. It gives me an opportunity to talk to people about why I do what I do. At fundraising events, I always have a stall with literature so I can talk to people and raise awareness.
“At Creighton RUFC, they now have junior teams so we have young kids running around with the Diabetes UK logo on their kits. That education and awareness message is, as far as I am concerned, as important as the actual fundraising.”
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 2diabetes can lead to devastating complications. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.
Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK, said: “Brian is a truly inspirational figure and his work in Cumbria – to raise money for Diabetes UK and also, crucially, to raise awareness – means he is a worthy winner of the Fundraising Award. He is a real community champion and we are lucky to have him.
“Our volunteers 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.”
Brian received his Inspire Award from Diabetes UK through the post and attended an online awards ceremony earlier this month, with fellow winners from the North West region.
To find out more about becoming a volunteer for Diabetes UK, or to join a local support group, please email [email protected] or call 01925 653281.