On Thursday evening I greatly enjoyed attending the awards ceremony for the Horsham Life Savers Club. They meet regularly at the Pavillions, training young and old to ensure they can save lives when people are in trouble in the water. It was a great atmosphere in which the club marked members’ achievements over two tumultuous years. Despite all the difficulties of Covid it was so good to see young people who I last saw as “Rookies” pre Covid now receiving awards as fully trained life guards.
To keep the Club thriving despite all the pressures required huge effort from volunteers, in doing so they have enriched many lives and may even cause other lives to be saved.
Vast numbers of people in different ways did so much during the last two years to help others and made huge sacrifices. Not to spend time with dying family members, or with parents or partners in care, not to be able to mourn together or having to go alone to crucial scans during pregnancy or illness. These are horrendous circumstances which people bore stoically during this dreadful time out of a determination to do the right thing and help others. It is no wonder that the recent allegations about events in Downing Street have caused such huge anger and upset. I absolutely recognise how badly let down people feel – we need to know the full facts and as soon as possible.
In the meantime real progress, founded on the vaccines, is being made in curtailing the impact of Omicron. Of course this isn’t the first time that medical breakthroughs have created extraordinary results. I was very moved last week, the 100th anniversary of insulin first being used as a treatment for type 1 diabetes, to hear about the first such case. Prior to this “Type 1” was invariably terminal with most only living 1 to 2 years after diagnosis.
Insulin was first given to a 14 year old boy, Leonard Thompson. He was in a coma and not expected to recover. After two injections of insulin (a completely novel approach) reduced his blood sugar levels, Leonard awoke from his coma and was able to leave hospital.
People with type 1 diabetes today, through insulin and blood sugar level monitoring, can lead a relatively normally life. Advancements in managing diabetes have continued to progress, with home testing becoming available in the 1980s with techniques continuing to improve. More needs to be done to support those with Type 1 but research and investment has massively improved the quality of life and continues to do so.
Photo Credit: Chairman of HDC, Cllr David Skipp and Horsham MP Jeremy Quin joined the Horsham Life Saving Club for their annual awards ceremony at Horsham Football Club and are photographed with some of the Club Members who received awards.