Post People: Dagenham Diabetes UK volunteer nominated for national award

PUBLISHED: 11:54 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:54 09 March 2017

Diabetes UK volunteer Bill Foulkes has been nominated for an Inspire Award for helping Dagenham diabetics Picture: Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK volunteer Bill Foulkes has been nominated for an Inspire Award for helping Dagenham diabetics Picture: Diabetes UK


Volunteer Bill Foulkes, 83, tells Sebastian Murphy-Bates about his work with Diabetes UK after being nominated for an Inspire Award after 14 years of raising awareness

“When I was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes 17 years ago I couldn’t seem to find any help – the doctor just told me to look after myself.

“A friend of mine told me I wasn’t going to drop dead and that the worst thing I could do was panic.

“I attended a patients’ programme that was about taking care of your own illness and taking control. One of the nurses there wanted to set up a support group and I thought that would be a brilliant way to give something back after so many people had helped me.

“I helped set up the borough’s Diabetes Support Group 14 years ago and since then I’ve volunteered for just about anything that raises funds or awareness. It also led to me featuring on TV on the Community Channel four years ago for a show called My Brilliant Moment.

“As a volunteer I’m not allowed to give medical advice, but I enjoy talking to people about diabetes and the problems they face and pointing them in the right direction.

“When I was first diagnosed I lost three stone in a few months because I didn’t know how to manage it – my family told me I looked demented. Then I cut out sugar and fat completely and my doctor told me to stop doing that. It’s difficult to get used to.

“That’s why I spend my time handing out leaflets at hospitals and supermarkets and holding free sessions at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club in Victoria Road, Dagenham, on the second Monday of every month at 7.30pm.

“We don’t just invite diabetics – it can be anybody who’s got an interest. I’m also on the Diabetes UK lay panel, so we have world-renowned authorities speaking about brilliant tests they’re carrying out to help restore sight to people who’ve lost it to the disease. “I’ve had people come back to me and thanks me for the advice I’ve given them and it’s good to know it makes a difference. One guy told me he always thinks about the advice I gave him – it’s very rewarding.”

Related articles

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories


Barking slipped to a third successive league loss on a bitterly cold day at Mayesbrook Park.


Alastair Cook admits it is a daily struggle to conquer the self-doubts which can constrain even his all-time record run-scoring habits.


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Yesterday, 11:16

West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady has issued a public apology for the club’s problems on and off the pitch and said the board takes full responsbility for the Hammers’ predicament.

Yesterday, 09:00

Barking and Dagenham College has been shortlisted for a national award for the training it provides.

Yesterday, 08:00

I joined council leader, Darren Rodwell, and colleagues recently at City Hall, for the announcement of the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture awards.

Fri, 17:00

Fahad Lashari, 25, is a maths and English tutor at Frobel Learning, a Barking tuition centre. He speaks about his passion for education and why we should invest in community centres and youth services


The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now