Peggy given a medal for her diabetes work

Peggy Ryle
Peggy Ryle

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

Peggy Ryle, 80, 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.

The pensioner was presented with the Diabetes UK John Macleod Medal by Diabetes UK.

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.

“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.”

The grandmother 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 and Rother Diabetes UK Voluntary Group.

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 80 I have no intention of stopping.”

Lucy Shea, south east region volunteer development officer for Diabetes UK, said: “To hear a story such as Peggy’s is quite inspirational, and certainly heartening, and to hear of the advancements in diabetes treatments over the years gives real hope for the future. We appreciate all of Peggy’s time and her many years volunteering for our charity; she is a great asset in helping us raise awareness of the condition and offering support for those people living with it.”

To join the group email The next meeting will be held on Thursday, November 14 at the Royal Victoria Hotel, Marina, St Leonards from 6pm.