Double joy for charity duo

Richard Lane, Diabetes UK President, with Kyle O'Keefe, from Cleveleys
Richard Lane, Diabetes UK President, with Kyle O'Keefe, from Cleveleys

A pupil and pensioner are celebrating a double success after picking up awards recognising their fund-raising 
efforts for a national charity.

Chris Bradburn, 72, from Freckleton, and 11-year-old Kyle O’Keefe, a student at Rossall School in Fleetwood, were winners at this year’s Diabetes UK Awards.

The pair were recognised for their hard work, with Chris picking up the Campaigning and Raising Awareness award and Kyle winning the prestigious Diabetes UK’s North West Volunteer of the Year.

Kyle, from Cleveleys, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition, when he was two years old.

As one of the youngest members of the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Coast Children’s Diabetes UK Support Group, Kyle has made major contributions to support the charity.

He helped launch its 4Ts campaign, which spreads the word about the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, at Parliament House and has organised activities at his school to celebrate World Diabetes Day and taken part in numerous fundraising initiatives, including swimming with sharks, raising over £500 for the charity.

Annette O’Keefe, Kyle’s mum, said: “I think he is just an amazing young boy and a fantastic role model.

“It’s amazing that he’s won these awards at such a young age.

“We are incredibly proud of Kyle getting involved and promoting a healthier way of seeing diabetes.

“He has a very positive attitude to it all and throws himself into school activities, acting in several school productions and playing various sports, including rugby.”

Since Chris Bradburn was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 15 years ago, he has devoted his time to campaigning for improvements in care for people with diabetes in the area.

For the past three years, he has volunteered as a Service Champion for Diabetes UK and is chairman of the Diabetes UK South Fylde Support Group.

Mr Bradburn said: “I’m very honoured to get this award.

“There are a lot of volunteers who do a lot of great stuff all over the country.

“It’s all the volunteers together that make the difference so this award is for everyone, really.”