A biomedical scientist who dedicated more than 40 years to supporting people in Essex with diabetes has died.
Chelmsford-based Ann Uzzell – the “friendly face of diabetes” in the local area – set up a support group in 1974 after her three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
She helped transform care and support for those with the condition around Essex, and raised thousands of pounds for the charity Diabetes UK.
A highlight of her dedicated work was the opening of the Broomfield Hospital’s Diabetes Centre in 1998, which provided specialist care for people with both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Speaking to the Braintree and Witham Times newspaper, Ann’s daughter Joanne said: “When I was first diagnosed there were no support groups, helplines or the likelihood of knowing someone in your area in the same position.
“Being a biomedical scientist helped mum to develop her knowledge and expertise of the condition. Arranging meetings, raising money and awareness is something she did and she also ensured anyone affected by diabetes was made welcome and encouraged to come to her informative meetings.
“I know that for many people across Essex, through her role in the group with many as chairma, Mum was the friendly face of diabetes and a source of both extensive knowledge and comforting support.”
Laurence Barker, Diabetes UK Eastern Volunteer Development Manager, said: “We were very saddened to hear the sad news of Ann’s death. We are so grateful to Ann for her tireless support to Diabetes UK as a whole and the Chelmsford and District Group in particular.
“Two years ago Ann was also one of a very small number of volunteers to be awarded a long service medal celebrating over 20 years as a volunteer.”

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