A CLINICAL psychologist from Glarryford has won an Unsung Hero award from Diabetes UK NI for generously giving up her time to help young families living with diabetes.
Dr Rebecca Houghton, a consultant clinical psychologist at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, won a Diabetes UK NI Inspire gong for helping children and their parents deal with life living with diabetes.
As part of her professional role Dr Houghton has shared her expertise and wealth of knowledge of diabetes with people living with diabetes (her young patients and their parents) on an almost daily basis.
However, award judges said she stood out for going the ‘extra mile’ beyond her health professional position.
Dr Houghton has regularly volunteered her time by giving talks to parents at children’s residentials hosted by the charity, as well as contributing to conferences, publications and hosting workshops in a bid to help those living with diabetes and other medical professionals better understand the emotional impact of the condition.
Dr Houghton said: “I am delighted to have received this award from Diabetes UK NI. This is totally unexpected but much appreciated.
“It is a pleasure to work with Diabetes UK NI and I enjoy being part of a collective approach that works tirelessly to drive up standards for people living with diabetes.
“Working with Diabetes UK NI has provided me with many opportunities to meet inspirational people and to learn how to be a better advocate. It has been a privilege to contribute to Diabetes UK NI as a clinical psychologist but also as a fellow human being and I look forward to future collaborations."
Dr Rebecca Houghton was among a total of 13 Inspire Award winners who were celebrated during an online winners’ ceremony on Thursday evening [November 26].
The Inspire Awards celebrate Diabetes UK NI’s dedicated volunteers and health professionals who campaign to improve the quality of care available to people with diabetes, fundraise for pioneering research and raise awareness to stem the rising tide of diabetes.
Tina McCrossan, National Director of Diabetes UK NI, said; “As a child psychologist Dr Houghton has shared her expertise by generously giving talks to parents on children's residentials organised by Diabetes UK NI.
“We know these have been very insightful and much appreciated by parents as they face the consequences of life with diabetes for their child.Dr Houghton has also been a member of our Northern Ireland Advisory Council (NIAC) group and for the last three years has acted as Chairperson of this group, which is a role she carried o ut with great enthusiasm.”
She added; “Our health professionals, are out there working hard in the community day in and day out. Our much-needed work wouldn’t be possible without their incredible support and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to them all.
“They make an enormous difference through their support.
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.
“If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications.
“With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.
To find out more about becoming a volunteer for Diabetes UK NI, or to join a local support group, please email nivolunteering@diabetes.
org.uk or call 0746 9154 823.
For up to date information or for support, visit diabetes.org.uk