At Oyster, we get a kick out of using our powers to do good – that means empowering people living with chronic conditions, giving them a voice, campaigning on their behalf, and providing them with opportunities.

That’s why we’ve started our Friday Fundraiser. We want to help the amazing people we work with in their fund-raising efforts. On the last Friday of each month we’ll be sharing a fund-raising story and asking for your donations to support a different charity.

Charity fundraising is a vital part of improving the lives of people with chronic conditions. Show them you care and donate today. Help us spread the word on social media by sharing this post and using our #FridayFundraiser hashtag.


Help dad and daughter duo raise funds for Diabetes UK

Holly’s story

Nothing was going to stop Holly Howard completing an epic coast-to-coast charity cycle – not being 11, not having her bike stolen and certainly not having Type 1 diabetes.

Holly, who lives in Bristol, has so far raised more than £8,000 for Diabetes UK by taking to the road with dad, Gavin, who also has Type 1.

Dad and daughter clocked up 1,500 miles during training, and the fund-raiser itself saw them spend 25 hours in the saddle over six days, on a 264 mile journey for Weston Supermare to Margate.

“Some days I found training really hard and the next week I was fine, then me and the bike clicked,” said Holly, who said she never really thought of herself as ‘sporty’.

“I did two hours on the new bike before I did the real thing,” said Holly, who was inspired by meeting athlete Sebastian Sesserville. The athlete didn’t let Type 1 diabetes stop him running across Canada, and he shared his motto with the youngster: overcome obstacles, live your life.

Holly and Gavin both use insulin pumps to control their Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition in which the body is unable to produce the protein itself. It means they have to regularly monitor their blood sugar levels and adjust their insulin doses accordingly.

“As we got fitter, the amount of insulin we needed changed,” said Gavin.

“If you do a lot of aggressive exercise the body releases sugar. Trying to get the balance was a challenge. We had rides when (her blood sugar levels) went low and we had to stop on the side of the road for 30 minutes and we had rides when the sugars went high.”

The worst part of their trip, they said, was a gravely canal path, where Gavin fell off five times and Holly once.

“The best was the last day. Mum and (my sister) Gemma made a banner saying ‘well done’ and me and dad cycled through it seven times,” said Holly.


Oyster donated £50 to Holly’s cause. To add to Holly’s fund-raising total, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Holly-Howard-C2C


About the charity

Diabetes UK, says:

“Diabetes is the most potentially devastating – and fastest-growing – health crisis of our time. There are currently 4 million people in the UK living with diabetes, and 11.5 million more at increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

“Those diagnosed face the risk of life-changing, and life-limiting, complications, unless they are given the very best care and the support they need to manage their condition well.

“As a society we need to work together now – and take action now – to fund critical research, improve healthcare and treatment, and prevent yet more people developing this potentially life-threatening condition.

“As the UK’s leading diabetes charity, our mission is that by bringing people together to work in partnership, we will support those living with diabetes, prevent Type 2 diabetes, make research breakthroughs, and ultimately find a cure.”



Published on: October 28, 2016