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All news

Find out the latest news about JDRF's research and fundraising events.

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Team of cyclists plan a ride from Durham to Poole

Two friends and a team from Siemens IT/GSS will be cycling 550 miles across England to raise money for JDRF. 

Ian Thompson and Ben Aymes have organised the ride to raise money for type 1 research and awareness of the condition after Ben’s daughter, Grace, aged nine, was diagnosed with type 1 in 2012.

The team of 21 riders will cycle 550 miles in six days from Durham to Poole, visiting Siemens sites on each day. The challenging ride will start on Sunday 7 September and they will be met by friends, family and JDRF staff when they reach Siemens in Poole on the following Friday.

The team are aiming to raise at least £5,000 for JDRF, having already received £1,455 in sponsorship so far.

Ian said: ‘When Ben’s daughter Grace was diagnosed with type 1 just after her 7th birthday, the impact was difficult to watch.  The way they have handled it as a family has been amazing and I know that JDRF have been a real help by providing information and hope that the cure for type 1 will be found.’

To find out more about the event and to sponsor the team of cyclists in their challenge, visit

If you’re keen to experience the world on two wheels while raising funds for type 1 research, take a look at


JDRF T1 Youth Ambassadors organise indoor skydives that raise £9,000

JDRF puts on lots of different events throughout the year, but they don't get much more exciting than Come Fly With Us - the indoor skydive which happened on 15 March and raised a huge £9,000 to support JDRF's work to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.

Organised by JDRF T1 Youth Ambassadors Daniel Walls, Laura Dunion and Mimi Astle, there were three events across the country, in Milton Keynes, Basingstoke and Manchester.

Indoor skydiving is just like normal skydiving, except it’s done in a giant flight chamber that’s a bit like a wind tunnel. 

A big thank you to all who took part, even Rufus who also learnt to skydive.

JDRF will be organising another Indoor Skydive on Saturday 22 November, so keep an eye on the website for more details.

To find out more about becoming a T1 Youth Ambassador, click here »


JDRF supporter takes on Fleet Half Marathon and raises over £2,700

A huge thank you to JDRF supporter Mark Noble, who ran the Fleet Half Marathon for JDRF on 16 March, raising a huge £2,789.

Mark completed the course in just over two hours – considered an impressive feat by runners. However, this is made all the more of an achievement considering 16 March was the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures topping out at 18 degrees and that Mark only took up running a short while ago.

Initially entering the Fleet Half as a personal goal, Mark was inspired by his friends Jeremy and Lynne Sanders whose daughter, Paige, was diagnosed with type 1 two years ago, at the age of four. The response to his fundraising has been immense and Mark has raised £2,789 including gift aid.

Mark said: 'The heat and the undulating course made the running more challenging than I thought. My legs are still a bit on the sore side but well worth the pain for a very worthy cause.'


A tribute to Derek Bockett

We were very sorry to hear today of the sudden death of Derek Bockett over the weekend. Many of you would have read about Derek in Type 1 Discovery magazine issue 62, and some of you may have met him at the Walk to Cure Diabetes in Southampton as he has supported the event for many years. He even celebrated his 75th birthday with us in 2012.

Diagnosed at the age of 14, Derek told Discovery about the changes in the way type 1 has been seen and treated over the decades – he was so poorly informed when diagnosed that he thought he would get over it within a few years. Derek said it was his wife's care over 46 years that helped him live such a full life. He had three children, six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, none of whom have type 1 diabetes. He has received the Alan Nabarro and Robert Lawrence medals for his fulfilled life with type 1 diabetes. An inspiration to so many, we will miss Derek greatly. Our sympathy goes to his family at this sad time.

You can read our interview with Derek from Type 1 Discovery here. You can read a profile of Derek here.


Teenagers set sail for type 1 diabetes in Isle of Wight challenge

William Chanter, 17, and Tom Baker, 15, set off on an attempt to sail around the Isle of Wight in William’s 29er dinghy. Both boys have type 1 diabetes and were taking on the challenge to raise funds for JDRF and inspire others with the condition.

William, who has finished his first years of A-levels at Oxted School, was diagnosed with type 1 age six. Tom, who studies at Eggar’s School, was diagnosed two years ago. The boys were put in touch by JDRF as both were keen sailors looking to take on a sailing challenge.

The boys took on their challenge on 23 July 2013. They tested their blood glucose levels for one last time on dry land at 1.30pm, before setting sail from Gurnard Sailing Club, near Cowes. The 29er dinghy was accompanied by a support rib, crewed by two slightly apprehensive dads.

Throughout their epic journey, William and Tom had to dodge ferries and large ships, contend with dense fog and cope with capsizing not once, but twice in the middle of the English Channel. And if that wasn’t enough the salty sea water on their hands meant that their blood glucose meters thought their blood was test solution – not the ideal situation for multiple tests!

The boys reached Ventor Beach 65km in to the challenge as the sun was beginning to set and the wind was dropping and were forced to call it a day. While disappointed at first with not having sailed the full distance, on reflection they are incredibly proud of what they have achieved and hope that they can inspire others living with type 1 to take on similar challenges.

William’s sailing club, Bough Beech Sailing Club in Kent, recently hosted a ‘Sailing with Type 1 Day’ for local families and William talked about his challenge as well as taking a number of children out on the water for a taste of sailing themselves.

Tom and William also presented JDRF with a cheque for £400 – taking their fantastic fundraising total to nearly £4,000. They also received a congratulatory message from world-class sailor Ben Ainslie (see video message below).

William said:

'I am really proud of what we achieved. It was a fantastic experience. It was a lot further than it looked on the chart!’

Louise Ingham, Development Manager for JDRF South, London and East, said:

‘William and Tom are a real inspiration to young people living with type 1 and proof that it shouldn’t stop you from doing anything. JDRF would like to say a huge thank you.’


Hitting the saddle to find the cure

Paul Morris, 32, from Dorchester has set himself his biggest challenge yet – cycling 229 miles from London to Paris to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes, a condition he has been living with for the past 20 years

Paul’s three-day ride, which starts on 7 June 2013, is raising vital funds to help JDRF cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. 

Paul said:

'I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 12, soon after I started secondary school. Since then, I have never let it stop me doing anything I’ve wanted to do. I want to raise awareness of the condition and show other people living with it that they can do these challenges too and raise money for a great charity like JDRF at the same time. I’m really excited to be taking part in this year’s London to Paris bike ride and I can’t wait to cross the finish line by the Eiffel Tower. I would encourage others to sign up to a JDRF challenge today.'

Thanks to new technology, Paul’s treatments have changed over the years, from having multiple daily insulin injections, to now being on a pump. He said:

'Last year I was lucky enough to qualify for an insulin pump on the NHS. It’s a small device that pumps insulin through a small cannula placed just below the skin. It gives me much better control of how much insulin I have in my system, and it mimics the way a healthy pancreas would actually work.'

Paul is fortunate – many people with type 1 diabetes do not have access to an insulin pump.

Paul will be cycling the London to Paris challenge with others who also live with the condition - it’s his most arduous challenge yet and he is calling on people to support the cause. 

Local people and businesses have already been very generous in support of Paul’s charity bid. A special thanks goes to Bay Engineering (Weymouth), Arnold Jones Associates (Dorchester), Joy Lane and Co (Dorchester) and Precision Acoustics Ltd (Dorchester).

 Jon Medcraft, Senior Challenge Events Fundraiser, said:

'We are delighted that Paul has decided to do the challenge on behalf of JDRF and we wish him and the team the very best of luck.'

If you would like to donate to JDRF and track Paul’s progress, visit his fundraising page. You can also donate by texting the code PLTP94 and your amount to 70070 (e.g. PLTP94 £10).

JDRF has a number of cycling events on offer in 2013/14 – visit the JDRF Cycle to Cure Diabetes pages and start putting the wheels in motion for the cure


Setting sail to find the cure for type 1

William Chanter, 16, from Crockham Hill in Kent and friend Tom Baker, 15, from Alton are taking on the challenge of a lifetime this summer to raise vital funds for JDRF

The pair will be sailing 60 miles around the Isle of Wight in just a 29er dinghy – leading some to compare the challenge to climbing Snowdon on a pogo stick. 

The teen sailors both live with type 1 diabetes, which affects 29,000 children in the UK. Both want to prove that it doesn’t stop you living your life – and both want to do something positive to raise awareness. 

Their journey will be a record breaking challenge for three reasons. Nobody has ever attempted to circumnavigate the island in such a vessel (a 29er dinghy) before.  Nobody under the age of 17 has attempted it – and nobody living with type 1 diabetes has ever attempted it either. William and Tom hope that it will take eight hours to complete if the weather is favourable.

William, a sixth form pupil at Oxted School, was diagnosed aged six. He has to do multiple blood glucose tests and insulin injections every day. He said:

'The challenge is really important to us – we’re passionate about sailing but just as passionate about raising awareness of type 1 and funds for JDRF. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us so far and we can’t wait to break some records now.'

Tom, an Eggar’s School pupil, was diagnosed two years ago. He added:

'When I was diagnosed with type 1 it was a huge shock and it took a while to adjust to living with the condition but I was determined not to let it affect my sailing.'

William and Tom will be attending an open day at the Bough Beech Sailing Club, Edenbridge, on Saturday 18 May to talk about their up-and-coming challenge, along with supporters JDRF and Team Blood Glucose.

Nicole Gerrard, Senior Fundraiser for the area, said:

'William and Tom are an inspirational pair. The challenge that they are doing is amazing but to be the first pair with type 1 to attempt it is even more incredible! We are wishing the pair every success in their challenge and thanking them for raising awareness and funds for us – bon voyage to them both!'

Paul Buchanan, CEO of Team Blood Glucose, said:

'Both William and Tom share a common goal, to demonstrate that anyone living with this chronic, lifelong condition can achieve anything if they put their mind to it.'

Support for the teenagers has been fantastic with the whole community getting behind the adventure, including friends and family. Special thanks to the Bough Beech Sailing Club, Team BG, Sanofi, LionTrust, Artemis, River and Mercantile, Somerset Capital Management and AllGoodFun. 

For further information please visit and to make a donation please visit


T1 Youth Ambassador clinches top prize thanks to dedicated pet dog

They say a ‘man’s best friend is his dog’ and for JDRF Youth Ambassador Amy Wilton, 17, from Fareham, this is only too true as her best friend is her doting whippet, Holly (aged 10).

Amy has been living with type 1 since the age of five and the relationship between her and Holly goes deeper than just owner and pet. Whenever her blood glucose levels start to drop Holly picks up on this. The dog will lick her hand, jump up at her and stare at her until she realises something must be wrong and this dedicated dog doesn’t stop, she is on the look-out 24 hrs a day!

Due to the loyalty that her dog Holly shows, Amy wanted to give something back and entered a picture of Holly taken on Hill Head beach into the RSPCA’s Young Photographer Awards 2012.

Amy came first in the award and was presented with a trophy and a camera by the RSPCA’s vice president Bill Oddie at an award ceremony.

A huge congratulations to Amy and Holly – well done from everyone at JDRF!

For full details on this story please go to:


Travel executives Christmas lunch raises £10,000 for JDRF

JDRF was delighted to be chosen as the beneficiary charity of the live and silent auctions at the annual Christmas lunch of the Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE).

The lunch was held last Tuesday at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and was a glamorous affair where the champagne flowed and entertainment was plentiful.

Amanda Taylor chose to support JDRF when she became chair of the ATWE board. Amanda's nephew Freddie has type 1 diabetes, so the search for the cure is a cause close to her heart. When she was asked to nominate a charity to benefit from the Christmas lunch, Amanda did not hesitate in choosing JDRF.

Pilot and JDRF supporter Douglas Cairns, who has type 1 himself, was the after dinner speaker and wowed the audience with his tales of adventure, from flying to the North Pole to his around the world flight, all to raise awareness of type 1.

The auction prizes included holidays, hotel stays and a flight with Douglas himself and raised nearly £10,000 for JDRF.

Louise Ingham, Development Manager for the South, East and London, said:

‘We are hugely grateful to Amanda and the AWTE for choosing to support JDRF and to everyone who bid in the auction. The money raised at the event will help us get one step closer to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes’.

Image L-R: Douglas Cairns, Amanda Taylor, Louise Ingham


Walk to Cure Diabetes South raises £20,000

Nearly 500 dedicated fundraisers took part in Walk to Cure Diabetes South at Manor Farm Country Park, on the 30 September. JDRF would like to thank all the participants and supporters who dedicated their time and made it such a fantastic day. The Walk has generated £20,000 so far which will go towards vital research to help JDRF one day find a cure for type 1 diabetes.

The Walk attracted many family walkers from near and far, including Southampton residents Chris and Sam O’Donnell from Sholing who took part, along with sons Connor, 7, and Kian, 5 (pictured). They have first-hand experience of type 1 diabetes, as Kian was diagnosed just last year. His auntie, Jodie, also has the life-threatening condition and was diagnosed 11 years ago aged six years old.

Sam said:

'It was ironic that at last year’s Walk we were doing it on behalf of Jodie and literally a few weeks later Kian was diagnosed. We thoroughly enjoyed the Walk and it was great to see so many people there all raising awareness and money for such a great cause. We have taken part in the Walk several times and are delighted that we can do our bit to help JDRF to hopefully one day find a cure for both Jodie and Kian, plus all the other 400,000 people in the country living with type 1.'

Nicole Gerrard, Southampton Fundraiser for JDRF said:

'We would like to thank each and every one of you who took part in this year’s event and we hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. Without our supporters, it really wouldn’t be possible to do what we do best. We would like to thank our main sponsor Ford for their involvement and generosity as it has been invaluable and our media sponsors the Southern Daily Echo and Hampshire Chronicle for their support.'

The Southampton event was part of a series of Walks including Walk to Cure Diabetes Scotland in Aberdeen on 16 September and Walk to Cure Diabetes Midlands at Drayton Manor Theme Park on 30 September. The final event will be Walk to Cure Diabetes London, taking place at Victoria Park on 7 October.


Olympic torchbearer makes a special appearance and helped raise funds

Brooke Wilkinson, who has type 1 and was selected as an olympic torch bearer, made a guest appearance at The Brook, Portswood, Southampton last Saturday with her olympic torch bearing uniform and torch.

Her dad, Mark, has a well known local band 'Rufus Stone' who plays there.

Brooke and her dad raised over £300 for JDRF and Mark has offered the services of his band to JDRF for future fundraising.

Thanks so much Brooke and Mark!

Brooke pictured here with her friends on the day of her leg of the Olympic Torch Relay. 


Come on down to Alresford Music Festival

A fun filled family orientated festival 

The Alresford Music Festival will be taking place this year on the 9 June at Arlebury Park, Alresford, Hampshire. Entering its third year the event will take the ‘community festival’ concept to another level, having been dreamed up by local Alresford resident Ken Veitch as an idea to raise money for local charities, with Ken teaming up with local artists and businesses to make the dream a reality.

Tapping into local contacts, the festival has slowly taken shape and, with just a few weeks to go, the team has grown to include eight dedicated volunteers and numerous professionals and companies hired for the day.

Ken is calling for local residents and music lovers from far and wide to come along and join in with this fun, family orientated event, which will showcase a diverse range of music styles from both established and emerging local talent, with profits going to charity, including JDRF. 

JDRF has been specifically chosen as Ken and his wife Alison have two sons who both live  with type 1 diabetes, so the condition has had a big influence on their lives. However, Ken and Alison are quick to point out that they have not allowed it to affect whatever their boys want to do, and both 20 year old Alexander and 15 year old Christian ski, snowboard, skateboard, and play football, amongst other things.

Ken said: “It has been a massive learning curve over the last three years but we now know how to create and put on this fabulous event efficiently. We now have a great local company First Option who are supporting our vision. Now, with a few weeks to go the event is shaping up to be the best ever. and we hope that local residents, music and festival lovers come down and support us. JDRF is the world’s leading charitable funder of research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes, and as my family has been directly affected by the condition, the charity was my obvious choice.  I have always wanted to put on a music festival, after being inspired by Eric Clapton’s CrossRoads Festival and this charity event is a great way to showcase good local music and highlight worthy causes, such as JDRF.

“Our ultimate aim is to have a fabulous vibe for the day which includes interesting aspects for children in terms of music, hands on involvement and many attractions that they can enjoy in an ultra-safe environment.”

So come on down to this musical extravaganza that will be fun for all the family. For further information and an event line up please visit:


Speakers needed for JDRF charity of the year event

JDRF is looking for a supporter or family to give a short presentation about JDRF and their experiences with type 1 diabetes at a corporate event in Oxfordshire. 

The presentation will be to approximately to 100-200 employees at a diagnostic company who develop and manufacture glucose-monitoring systems and test strips, and have selected JDRF to be their charity of the year. 

We will give you any assistance you might need to prepare your presentation and will of course reimburse your expenses. 

We need speakers on 20 June at 2pm and 7pm and on 21 June at 2pm.

Please contact Anna for more details if you are interested


Christmas fundraising

Christmas fundraising in Norton Village

People travelled form far and wide to attend this exceptional Christmas Fair, which was held in Norton Village Hall, Kent and saw hundreds of people attend throughout the day.

Father Christmas arrived by tinsel covered horse and carriage to open the much anticipated event and was received with cheers by villagers young and old alike. 

As well as Father Christmas making an appearance, villagers were treated to a wide variety of stalls, beautiful refreshments, face painting, and tombola. There was even a raffle to win meat ready for Christmas Day!

The event was organised by Jude Childs whose four year old granddaughter Gabriella was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes earlier in the year.

Jude said ‘I was so touched to see so many people come along to support the fundraiser. It meant the world to know that people are as passionate as we are to find the cure for type 1 diabetes’. 

In total the fair has raised over £5,000 for type 1 diabetes research – an absolutely fantastic amount!

Thank you to Jude and Gabriella for your hard work and to everyone who was involved in making the Norton Village Fair a resounding success!


Determined fundraisers

The determination of JDRF supporters

'Team yeah' (otherwise known as the Tanner family) had entered themselves for the grueling Sussex Obstacle Dash and spent the whole summer fundraising for JDRF and training for the event. 

Unfortunately, the organisers of the event have cancelled it. But there was no way 'Team Yeah' was going to let JDRF, their sponsors, or daughter Isabel down. Instead, they have devised their own challenging route through Hastings Country Park, including a particularly challenging stretch that they affectionately call ‘Cardiac Pass’ (basically, when you’ve done it you need a re-sus trolley!). Their challenge now is to run, jog, walk or crawl 5k around the park – including the notorious Cardiac Pass – for what they believe will be a much greater challenge than the original Sussex Obstacle Dash.

The great news is that all their sponsors are still happy to support them – so long as they are covered in mud at the end – helping JDRF to continue funding vital type 1 diabetes research!

If you would like to support 'Team Yeah' in their challenge visit


Kian’s fundraising

Kian is raising awareness of type 1 diabetes and funds for JDRF

Kian has only recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes but he's already tackling it head on. 

Kian and his family know all about JDRF because they have been joining the Walk to Cure Diabetes for some years to help Kian's auntie, Jodie. Kian's dad has also skydived to raise money for JDRF.

Now it's Kian's turn. Along with his mum and his brother, Conor, Kian has been busy asking people to guess the name of the toy, managing to raise a fantastic £100.

Kian also raised lots of awareness by telling many people all about type 1 diabetes.

JDRF wants to say a big thank you to Kian and all the family!