John Howe MBE

John, aged 76, from Urmston was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 15 and at 19 years old became the co-chair of the newly formed Stretford and Urmston branch of the British Diabetic Association. The first meeting in 1969 saw over 50 people attends, and this group went on to meet regularly to discuss their experiences of living with diabetes.

John took a break from actively participating in the group after marrying his wife Jacky in 1964 and raising two children, while he also worked as a scientific and technical photographer at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).

John became involved with the Trafford Diabetes UK Support Group again after retiring in 1997, and has worked to raise awareness of diabetes and offer peer support to people living with the condition in the local area.

It was John’s late brother Les, who sadly passed away three years ago, who began the process of nominating John for the honor. His wife Jacky and brother Charles continued the work, covertly making notes on John’s work in the local community.

John said: “I’ve always just got on with things. As somebody who’s lived with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 15, being part of a local support group and helping other people living with diabetes seems like a natural thing to do, so it was a shock but an honor to receive an MBE.”

As Chair of the Trafford Diabetes UK Support Group, volunteering at events, participating in multiple studies and taking part in diabetes research, John has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people living with diabetes and continues to do so.

He added: “I have spoken to so many people with diabetes who just needed somebody to talk to. Living with diabetes can be overwhelming at times and I cannot emphasizes enough the difference being able to chat to somebody can have.”