I recently accompanied local man Gwynne Pickering to Westminster when he addressed MPs about living with diabetes.
Gwynne, who has been a type 2 diabetic for 24 years, spoke passionately about the condition to the All-party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes when it met at the House of Commons.
He recounted his experience as a patient, called for extra funding for specialist nurses and was the only speech to be followed by applause.
“I considered it a great honour to have had the opportunity to address MPs in Parliament about additional funding for training diabetic nurses and their retention after qualifying,” said Gwynne, who lives in Meads.
“With the increase of people with diabetes these nurses are a cost-effective way of managing the condition whether in hospital or GP surgeries. They can go a long way to relieve the pressure on doctors, who then have more time to deal with the more serious cases.”
It was an absolute privilege to accompany Gwynne to Parliament and see him speak and really communicate what diabetes means.
Through his voluntary work locally, he makes a real difference to the lives of people in our town and now his experience has found its way to Parliament too.
Speaking after the meeting, APPG Chairman Keith Vaz, said he had been ‘very impressed’ by the insight Gwynne had brought to the discussion and thanked him most sincerely for having accepted the invitation to speak.
Gwynne now has a standing invitation to attend future meetings of the group.