A RETIRED teacher who visits schools to help children understand diabetes has won the top volunteering award for the South-West from Diabetes UK.

Sue Briggs, of Taunton, won two awards at the charity’s regional Inspire Awards held in Taunton.

She received the Raising Awareness award and also scooped the overall award for outstanding individual volunteer.

The 59-year-old, who has Type 1 diabetes, gives presentations to schools, families and teachers to raise awareness of diabetes.

She helped support the Diabetes UK 4T campaign, which highlights the four main symptoms of Type 1 diabetes to help quicker diagnoses for children.

Though Type 1 usually affects children or young adults, Sue wasn’t diagnosed until she was 53.

Phaedra Perry, regional manager at Diabetes UK South-West, said: “Sue’s a brilliant volunteer who helps explain the complex issues around the causes, symptoms and treatment of diabetes to children to raise awareness of the condition.

“When she speaks to children she’s often inundated with thankyou letters from pupils afterwards.

“The Inspire Awards are a great opportunity to thank the people who deserve recognition for their fantastic efforts to support people with diabetes.

“As an organisation we couldn’t do what we do without brilliant and dedicated volunteers like Sue.”

Sue, a former maths teacher at Castle and Ladymead Schools in Taunton, said: “I’m surprised and pleased to win these awards.

“I love doing the talks for children as it uses my teaching experience in a completely new way.”

Diabetes UK is campaigning to ensure that all children with Type 1 diabetes receive the care they need at school.

You can find out more about the campaign at www.diabetes.org.uk

If you would like to volunteer for Diabetes UK, email south.west@diabetes.org.uk or call 01823-448260.