A psychology student from Chorley has won a volunteering award from the charity, Diabetes UK.
Vanessa Haydock, 21, won the Young People’s Outstanding Contribution Award at the charity’s regional Inspire Awards The award is given to a person under 30 who have used creative and innovative ways to contribute to the charity.
Vanessa was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just five and she now provides regular online group sessions for people with diabetes, hosting a weekly group therapy chat on the Google+ Hangout platform, where she encourages people with diabetes to offer each other advice and support.
She also expresses her views and experiences of diabetes on the charity website and has taken part in media interviews to raise awareness of diabetes.
Vanessa, said: "I am so overwhelmed with receiving this amazing award, knowing that my contribution and involvement with Diabetes UK is helping other people with diabetes, fulfilling the goal I'd set out to make.
“Diabetes is an incredibly lonely condition, a condition that many people know little about, with little knowledge of the physical and psychological difficulties that come hand in hand with the disease.
Growing up I had no diabetic peers to share my experiences with, which affected my motivation to manage the condition effectively.
“However when I started to talk to other people with diabetes via Diabetes UK, this was when I knew communication was key to increasing my motivation”.
Helen Pattie, Diabetes UK’s Regional Manager in the North West, said: “Vanessa is a bright and enthusiastic volunteer and you can tell that she is really driven by helping others and making a difference to people with diabetes.”