by Benson Agoha
The National Charity Partnership, a partnership between Tesco and Diabetes UK have raised £10 million for Diabetes UK.
And the partnership, comprising of Tesco colleagues, suppliers and customers raised the amount in just the first year of their partnership, Tesco announced yesterday.
The statement on Tesco's website said the £10 million raised, will used to fund research, education and awareness programmes "to make life better for people with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing it."
The amount is one of the largest amounts ever raised in 12 months through a charity partnership in the UK, Tesco said, adding that it will work together with Diabetes UK in 2014, to raise further vital funds for the Charity.
The statement said the ongoing partnership reflects the fact diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges the UK faces today and, with the number of people diagnosed with diabetes currently standing at 3.2 million, highlights the need to give more support to address this challenge.
Tesco said the £10 million raised has been invested in Diabetes UK’s biggest ever research programme, into developing a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes that could transform the lives of those at high risk of the condition. Diabetes UK will announce the launch of the research programme by the end of the year.
The money has also been used to fund the largest ever advertising campaign to encourage people to check their risk of Type 2 diabetes, which included on-street, radio, transport and digital advertising.
The partnership and the boost from the campaign, has seen more than 70,000 people come forward to have themselves checked whether they at risk of getting Type 2 diabetes in Tesco pharmacies or online.
Other uses for the raised funds included the distributing 1 million information leaflets and booklets about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in Tesco stores, putting on events across the country to help give people with Type 2 diabetes information about how they can manage their own condition. "The Living with Diabetes Day programme, which started at the end of last year, will support nearly 10,000 people over two years," the statement said.
The raised funds have also helped to extend the opening hours of Diabetes UK Careline, a dedicated diabetes helpline, to support even more people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and further funds raised over the coming months will help to fund further research and other awareness projects.
To help reach the £10 million fundraising total, Tesco said the partnership have had to embrace "challenges and put on fundraising events in stores, distribution centres and offices around the UK; suppliers supported the partnership through promotions; and more than 7,500 people volunteered to take part in a charity collection that raised over £380,000 in three days".
Tesco appreciated the contribution of its customers to the effort, saying "throughout the year, Tesco customers have generously supported the partnership".
Reacting to the achievement, Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Throughout the last year, I have been consistently amazed and humbled by the way Tesco colleagues, customers and suppliers have raised so much money for what is a hugely important cause".
She said “From shaving their heads to dressing up in all manner of silly costumes to one man who even rowed the Atlantic Ocean, they have inspired all of us at Diabetes UK with the way they have thrown themselves into the fundraising. Raising £10 million is an extraordinary achievement and this will make a big difference to the lives of people with diabetes and those at risk of developing it.
“As well as wanting to take the chance to thank them all, I also want to welcome their decision to extend the partnership. This is a really exciting development that will mean that, working together, we can fund even more research and give more people the information and support they need to have the best possible chance of a long and healthy life.”
Chris Bush, Managing Director of Tesco UK said: [ “Throughout a year of incredible fundraising, I’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our customers, colleagues and suppliers who have given so much to raise such an impressive amount for Diabetes UK.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and one that has already helped fund important research and the largest ever awareness campaign to encourage people to check their risk of Type 2 diabetes.
“One of our ambitions is to help our colleagues and customers lead healthier lives and the work we’ve been doing in partnership with Diabetes UK to raise awareness of the condition and promote healthy living is an integral part of that effort.
“In recognition of what an important public health issue diabetes has become in the UK, I’m calling on all our colleagues to redouble their efforts in 2014 as we continue our partnership with Diabetes UK, with the aim of raising even more funds for this vitally important cause.”
There are around 3.8 million people who have diabetes in the UK and more than 3.2 million people are living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, while there around 630,000 more who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.
As many as 7 million people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 5 million people will have diabetes by 2025, Tesco said.
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