I am writing to ask your readers to support leading health charity Diabetes UK this year as it marked its 75th anniversary on January 10, the same week that I celebrated my own 75th birthday.

Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to serious complications including heart disease, blindness and amputation. My mother had the condition and my sister also has it, so I know first-hand how it can completely change your life.

With Diabetes UK's 75th anniversary this year, we have a great chance to raise awareness about diabetes and the complications it can lead to. There are 2.5million people in the UK with the condition and a further 500,000 who have the condition and do not know it. These numbers are rising at an alarming rate so it is important we do all we can to raise awareness of diabetes and its risk factors, symptoms and treatments.

Diabetes UK is aiming to raise over £7.5 million this year to fund vital research. I would urge Gazette read-ers to support the charity either by making a donation or becoming a volunteer. For more information please visit www.diabetes.org.uk/75years