A POPULAR Kidderminster diabetes campaigner was honoured this month when he received a prestigious medal for his services to charity.

Fred Holland was awarded the Order of Mercy for his voluntary service over the last 50 years to Diabetes UK, plus many other charities.

Mr Holland was presented with his Order of Mercy award by the Rt Hon the Lord Lingfield, President of the League of Mercy.

Mr Holland said: "It was an amazing day - it was mindblowing. There was 25 of us receiving awards.

"Not everyone can receive these awards and that is amazing to me.

"When I got up on stage Lord Lingfield bowed to me and then he shook my hand. He said it was a great honour to present me with this award.

"My medal was on a cushion - like a glass slipper - and then he presented me with it."

He added: "It is an amazing, massive award to receive. It is a great honour."

Mr Holland first became aware of the critical need to improve local diabetes services following his daughter Vivienne's type one diabetes diagnosis in 1971. He formed the Wyre Forest branch of the British Diabetic Association in the same year and has continued to be its chairman since.

His achievements were acknowledged in 2012 when the Kidderminster Hospital's diabetes unit was named after him.

His services to diabetes care were recognised in 2014 when he became the first British person to receive an award from the International Diabetes Federation. His award was noted by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who wrote to him, telling him it was an 'amazing achievement' and that Fred was 'an inspiration to others'.

Fred also received the British Citizen Award earlier this year.

The League of Mercy awards ceremony was held at the Mansion House, in London, on Tuesday, July 11, in the presence of HRH Princess Katerina of Yugoslavia, the Lady Mayoress of London and other guests.

Lord Lingfield said: "Mr Holland has done extraordinary work for those most in need.

"He is a marvellous example of someone whose longstanding and voluntary dedication to the service and welfare of others is noteworthy and remarkable and we were delighted to be able to make this well deserved award to him."

The League of Mercy, originally created in 1899 for the encouragement and recognition of voluntary work in hospitals and the community, was refounded as a nationwide registered charity in 1999 and now continues the work of the original founder, the then Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

For more information on the League of Mercy, visit leagueofmercy.co.uk.