As the proud President of JDRF UK, I am delighted to be with you all here this evening as we celebrate this unique charity's thirtieth anniversary.
When I was asked to be its President in 2012, I knew virtually nothing about type1 diabetes and even less about the need to fund the vital medical research into its prevention and treatment. Since then, I have had the good fortune to meet scientists, funded by the charity, and to learn more about some of their ground-breaking work. Like them, JDRF is dedicated to driving forward research and, ultimately, to finding a cure.
I'm hugely encouraged by the news that research on a global scale has driven forward development of an artificial pancreas, with researchers in the UK nowtesting it in adults and children. I well remember visiting the team at Addenbrooke's Hospital, four years ago, as they worked to develop this exciting new technology.
As well as funding medical research, JDRF is alsospreading the word to bring greater awareness and understanding of this disease. And in this it is helped by many volunteers such as Youth Ambassadors, and, of course, families who know, only too well, what living with type 1 diabetes is like. They have all played their part in the successes of the past thirty years and will, I am sure, continue to be steadfast supporters.
I just wanted to say we are very lucky that the Prime Minister has been able to join us tonight, despite her incredibly busy schedule. If I may say so, her openness about living with diabetes has given an immense boost to its public profile.
As President, it has been a privilege to meet those who live every day with
type 1 diabetes, as well as their all-important families who do so much to support them. They are at the heart of everything that this charity is doing. And although this is a time to look back over the manyachievements of the last thirty years, I know that everyone at JDRF is looking forward in the hope that a cure for this devastating disease will be found in the not too distant future.