Peggy’s award for her work with diabetics

Peggy Ryle
Peggy Ryle

A grandmother has been presented with an award for her work helping people with diabetes.

Peggy Ryle, 81, from St Leonards, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1943 when she was 10 after experiencing the main symptoms, such as frequent urinating, extreme tiredness and excessive thirst.

This week she was recognised for her volunteering activities for Diabetes UK with a certificate and a Long Service Volunteer award presentation pin.

She has volunteered for Diabetes UK for more than 45 years.

Speaking on how she was first diagnosed, Peggy said: “My mum was very worried so she took me to the doctors during a wartime blackout to have a blood and urine test and I was admitted to hospital for six weeks before they finally told me I had diabetes.”

She has seen significant advances to the monitoring and treatment of the condition over the past seven decades. Peggy said: “As a teenager, my insulin was injected with inch-long needles and you had to buy your own testing kit as there was no NHS.”

I have supported Diabetes UK since I was 10 and at the age of 81 I have no intention of stopping

Peggy Ryle

Grandmother Peggy has always shared her experiences and helped others newly diagnosed with the condition and in 1970 was one of the founding members of the first local Diabetes UK support group in Hastings.

She is now an active member of the current Hastings & Rother Diabetes UK Voluntary Group and is even featured dancing in the one of the current information posters for Diabetes UK.

In October 2013 the pensioner was presented with the Diabetes UK John Macleod Medal by the charity.

Reflecting on her life with diabetes, Peggy said: “I have done lots of travelling and I love dancing. Diabetes has not controlled my life because with the correct information and advice you can live a full life.

“I have supported Diabetes UK since I was 10 and at the age of 81 I have no intention of stopping.”

For more information about diabetes visit www.diabetes.org.uk.