Who are the EarlyBirds?

The EarlyBirds are a randomly selected group of 300 children, all healthy volunteers, who are taking part in a medical research project that will provide evidence to help researchers to identify the causes of diabetes. Since the age of five, these young people have undergone an intensive series of measurements and tests that would daunt most adults. The commitment, motivation and maturity they all show is truly remarkable.

These are just some of the reasons they give for doing what they do:

"It makes me feel good to know I am helping people" (Lauren)

"I know how important the research is as my Aunty Sandra suffered from diabetes and died two years ago" (Amber)

"We let them take our blood every year so they can understand about how our bodies work and what can go wrong" (Sarah)

"EarlyBird will find out why some people get diabetes and help stop them being ill" (Tim)

"I don't mind doing my bit for medical research" (Macauley)

"My Grandpa has diabetes and it stops him doing a lot of things he likes doing. I do not want other people to get diabetes as well" (Peter)

"I am VERY proud to be an EarlyBird" (Kane)

Recognition for the EarlyBird volunteers

In 2007, the EarlyBird youngsters were collectively awarded a Special Youth in the Community award. This award aimed to celebrate and recognise those who are making a difference to their communities, that is, a young person or persons, under 18 years of age, who are giving up their time to make life better for people around them. This was shortly followed by a collective Young Community Hero award.