Healthwatch Dorset has been recognised in a prestigious national awards scheme for helping local young people raise awareness of what it is like to live with type one diabetes.

The highly commended award for ‘Celebrating our volunteer team’ was announced at the Healthwatch Awards 2020, which are run by Healthwatch England.  This virtual event celebrated the difference Healthwatch’s 4,400 staff and volunteers made over the past year.  Healthwatch Dorset was one of only four local Healthwatch to be highly commended for its work with volunteers, out of a total of 152 across England.

Rosey & flashmob raising diabetes awareness

Commenting on the recognition, Healthwatch Dorset Manager, Louise Bate said: “We’re delighted to receive this award and very proud to be able to celebrate the invaluable contribution of our volunteers.  It was a pleasure working with our wonderful young volunteers, encouraging and supporting them to speak up about their experiences of living with diabetes, and making sure their health care needs are heard and understood.  You can find out more about this great project and watch the films & blog Issy, Nicole & Rosey made on our website: healthwatchdorset.co.uk/project/diabetes-awareness/.”

Last year, local Healthwatch all over England supported over one million people to either provide feedback on health and care or to access advice and information about local services.  Many local Healthwatch have also played an integral role in their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said: “I never stop being inspired by the dedication of local Healthwatch staff to making care better for their communities.  Whether reaching out those whose views are not being heard, helping people to find the support they need or making sure NHS and social care services act on the improvements that the public want to see, the award entries highlight the difference local Healthwatch make.”