Tesco colleagues and customers raise £10 million for Diabetes UK

3 Mar 2014

Tesco and Diabetes UK have announced that Tesco colleagues, suppliers and customers have raised £10 million in the first year of their partnership.

Tesco and Diabetes UK have announced that Tesco colleagues, suppliers and customers have raised £10 million in the first year of their partnership.

The £10 million, which is funding research, education and awareness programmes to make life better for people with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing it, is one of the largest amounts ever raised in 12 months through a charity partnership in the UK.

Tesco and Diabetes UK have also confirmed they will continue to work together in 2014 to raise further vital funds.   The ongoing partnership reflects the fact diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges the UK faces today and, with the number of people diagnosed with diabetes now standing at 3.2 million, there is an urgent need to give more support to address this challenge.

The £10 million already raised has been invested in:

  • Diabetes UK’s biggest ever research programme, into developing a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes that could transform the lives of those at high risk of the condition. Diabetes UK will announce the launch of the research programme by the end of the year.
  • The largest ever advertising campaign to encourage people to check their risk of Type 2 diabetes, which included on-street, radio, transport and digital advertising. Since the partnership started and thanks to the boost of the campaign, more than 70,000 people have checked their risk of getting Type 2 diabetes in Tesco pharmacies or online.
  • Distributing 1 million information leaflets and booklets about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in Tesco stores.
  • Putting on events across the country to help give people with Type 2 diabetes information about how they can manage their own condition. The Living with Diabetes Day programme, which started at the end of last year, will support nearly 10,000 people over two years.
  • Extending the opening hours of Diabetes UK Careline, a dedicated diabetes helpline, to support even more people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Funds raised over the coming months will help to fund further research and other awareness projects.

To help reach the £10 million fundraising total, Tesco colleagues have embraced challenges and put on fundraising events in stores, distribution centres and offices around the UK; suppliers supported the partnership through promotions; and more than 7,500 people volunteered to take part in a charity collection that raised over £380,000 in three days. Throughout the year, Tesco customers have generously supported the partnership.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Throughout the last year, I have been consistently amazed and humbled by the way Tesco colleagues, customers and suppliers have raised so much money for what is a hugely important cause.

“From shaving their heads to dressing up in all manner of silly costumes to one man who even rowed the Atlantic Ocean, they have inspired all of us at Diabetes UK with the way they have thrown themselves into the fundraising. Raising £10 million is an extraordinary achievement and this will make a big difference to the lives of people with diabetes and those at risk of developing it.

“As well as wanting to take the chance to thank them all, I also want to welcome their decision to extend the partnership. This is a really exciting development that will mean that, working together, we can fund even more research and give more people the information and support they need to have the best possible chance of a long and healthy life.”

Chris Bush, Managing Director of Tesco UK said: “Throughout a year of incredible fundraising, I’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our customers, colleagues and suppliers who have given so much to raise such an impressive amount for Diabetes UK.

“It’s a fantastic achievement and one that has already helped fund important research and the largest ever awareness campaign to encourage people to check their risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“One of our ambitions is to help our colleagues and customers lead healthier lives and the work we’ve been doing in partnership with Diabetes UK to raise awareness of the condition and promote healthy living is an integral part of that effort.

“In recognition of what an important public health issue diabetes has become in the UK, I’m calling on all our colleagues to redouble their efforts in 2014 as we continue our partnership with Diabetes UK, with the aim of raising even more funds for this vitally important cause.”

Notes to editor:  

About Diabetes UK:

  • Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes.  For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit www.diabetes.org.uk
  • In the UK, there are around 3.8 million people who have diabetes.  There are more than 3.2 million people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and around 630,000 more who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.  As many as 7 million people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 5 million people will have diabetes by 2025.
  • 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.  Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
  • People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin.  About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable.  It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.  Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses - taken either by injections or via an insulin pump – a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
  • People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance).  85 to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2.  They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk.  They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight.  It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity.  In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.

About the Tesco National Charity Partnership:

  • Diabetes UK is Tesco’s National Charity Partner. Tesco and Diabetes UK hope to raise even more funds to create healthier communities for everyone affected by, and at risk of, diabetes.
  • The partnership aims to support the 3.8 million people who have to live with diabetes every day; and help hundreds of thousands of people take action to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes. It will also see investment into ground-breaking research.
  • Since 1988, Tesco has chosen a different charity every year to be the focus for colleague fundraising. The Tesco Charity Trust tops up colleague fundraising by 20%, up to a maximum of £500,000.
  • The partnership will be supported throughout the year by a range of product promotions in Tesco stores and online which will carry a donation to Diabetes UK. Tesco Bank will continue to donate 0.0125p for every transaction made at ATM’s at Tesco stores. Clubcard customers can also donate their points to Diabetes UK.