DRWF Volunteering: Getting the team back together – in memory of a much-missed friend and supporter
DRWF staff and volunteers met together for the first time in a long while to celebrate the life of our dear friend Lynwood Newman.
The DRWF headquarters welcomed a special guest to the premises recently as we paid tribute to our friend and supporter Lynwood Newman, who died last year.
It was the first time since closing the office in March 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that all staff members had been together, as a phased return to the office from home working is ongoing and we have undergone some necessary changes to the regular working routine.
The occasion of the gathering was to mark the one-year anniversary since we lost Lynwood who, over the previous 17 years, was a huge presence at DRWF.
Lynwood, who had type 2 diabetes, volunteered a lot of his spare time to promoting the work and activities of the charity and was always willing to lend a hand to anything that was required.
Lynwood always undertook all of his charitable tasks with his characteristic big smile accompanied by his infectious booming laugh.
It was always a pleasure to have him visit the office and the DRWF staff always looked forward to him joining us. Lynwood was a lifetime member of the charity and also served as a member of the DRWF Editorial Advisory Board, helping in the review process of our monthly Diabetes Wellness News with regular, invaluable feedback and input.
Lynwood was also seen on occasion in the guise of his alter ego at events – donning a red cape to become Captain Insulin – a diabetes superhero of his own creation. Lynwood was a prolific fundraiser who raised many thousands of pounds for DRWF over the years.
Sarah Tutton, DRWF Chief Executive, said: “Lynwood became a big part of our lives from our first meeting in 2006. We have many fond memories and little stories to tell of time spent with him. You don’t have to look too far for a photograph, or a video snippet, or a joke that he once shared, with the DRWF team.
“He was a big supporter of our Diabetes Wellness Events where he attended as his alter ego, Captain Insulin. Lynwood would disappear and don his bright red outfit complete with mask and re-appear as our favourite diabetes superhero, bringing a huge smile to everyone’s face.
“His enthusiasm, his smile and his positivity were infectious. His friendship warm, generous and inclusive.
“At this poignant time, the one-year anniversary of our special friends’ passing, we wanted to do something that enabled us to create a lasting tribute to Lynwood and his contribution to the charity. Something that we could invite his family and friends, and the wider diabetes community, to participate in. Somewhere to share photos and stories, and special moments in time, in memory of such a wonderful man. To this end, we created a ‘Much Loved’ In
Memory page on our website, inviting Lynwood’s wife, Lida, to join us at our offices as we launched our special tribute to him.
“It was wonderful to be able to spend time with Lida reflecting on our varied relationships with Lynwood and we are grateful that she was willing to share the anniversary of his passing with us. Together, we raised a toast in celebration of Lynwood, aka Captain Insulin, whom we loved very much and whose memory lives on in all that we do.”
On this occasion DRWF staff and guest volunteers were joined by Lynwood’s wife Lida, visiting our office in Havant, Hampshire from her home in Weymouth and there was a presentation ceremony of a cheque to DRWF and cakes made by members of DRWF staff.
Karen Scott, DRWF Community Fundraiser, said: “DRWF were honoured to recently host a small gathering at our offices to include Lida Newman, Lynwood’s wife. This was held one year after Lynwood passed away and we wanted to get together and mark the day to celebrate Lynwood’s amazing life and his generous contributions to the charity.
“To all the DRWF staff who knew him, Lynwood feels like he is still a part of the charity. His legacy of positivity and hard work is still remembered and continues to inspire us. Everyone still feels the ‘Lynwood magic’, a term used by Lida to describe his influence on others. He was certainly one of a kind, sadly missed and will always be remembered, who could forget that big smile?
“On the day, Lida unexpectedly presented a cheque to DRWF in memory of her wonderful husband, Lynwood. These funds will be used to continue to fulfil our aims and objectives. DRWF will continue to invest into research, create more awareness about diabetes and continue supporting those who are living with this condition, the way Lynwood would wish us to.”
Lida said: “Lynwood Newman was born in Philadelphia, USA, the City of Brotherly Love. He believed in that ideal and wanted the world to be a better place. “No” was a word which did not exist for him. If anyone wanted help in whatever way, he would help. He knew at first hand the devastation brought about by the lack of knowledge about diabetes and its management because, without exception, he and all his extended family suffered from this condition.
“Thus, when Lynwood retired he was glad to offer his volunteering services to DRWF to help in any capacity that he could. Lynwood had studied media and journalism at Penn State University so with that background, aided by an English proof-reading course, he was glad to help in the proof-reading and production of the monthly newsletter, a task that he found rewarding and interesting.”
DRWF has launched an online MuchLoved memorial tribute for Lynwood
This is a place for his friends, family and colleagues to share their personal memories of him. They can visit the page to light a candle, post a photo, video or a fond memory they have of Lynwood that they would like to share.
DRWF has recently partnered with MuchLoved, which means that any of our supporters can now make their own online tribute page in memory of a loved one or to support DRWF. It is simple, quick and free to set-up.