A PEEBLES coffee shop owner dedicated to making life easier for diabetes sufferers is in the running for a top award.

Suzi Litster knows only too well how hard it is to manage the condition after being diagnosed as diabetic at a young age.

When Suzi took the reins of Ramblers Coffee Shop from her parents who retired in September 2017, she set about devising a carb counted menu which helps people with the condition know the nutritional content of their food choice.

She said: “I have been diabetic for 30 years and in those years I don’t think I have ever had someone pop a meal down to me and say this is x amount of carbs, that’s always something I’ve counted myself. I thought, why not count my menu, I do it daily for myself so for the ease and enjoyment of all other type one’s I decided to do it.”

Diabetes UK has recognised Suzi’s efforts and she has been nominated for Best Community Café in Scotland.

She told us: “There was a couple that came in recently that were so overwhelmed by how accommodating we were. I weighed their son’s baked potato and I carb counted the cakes for them. They said when they’d gone to other café’s and they felt like aliens, that no-one understood why we were asking the questions about the menu. The customer said it was great to come to a place where someone understands, and that to me makes all my effort worthwhile.

“I’ve been putting in all this work behind the scenes for so long and to be recognised for it now is so nice.”

Not only has Suzi made her menu easier for diabetics, she is hosting a fundraiser for the charity over the weekend of May 25 and 26. There will be discounted lunches for diabetics who “flash their pump” insulin or blood monitor.

It will be service as usual at the coffee shop, only with various stalls and a spin challenge with the money raised going towards camps for young children with diabetes.

As Suzi counts the carbs and jumps on the spin bike to raise awareness and funds for the charity, Peebles High School office assistant Caroline Connor will be donning her wetsuit and attempting to swim the English Channel.

Caroline is the primary first aider in the school and works closely with five type one diabetic pupils. She has previously donated £2,000 for the charity and has received two Diabetes Care in Schools Awards, and an Inspire Award. She will join Suzi at the charity’s national awards ceremony next month after being nominated again.

Another charity which will benefit from Caroline’s gruelling challenge will be Parkinson’s UK. She said: “My Dad has had Parkinson’s for the last 12 years and it is his wish to find a cure for the debilitating condition within his lifetime,” said Caroline.

Speaking of her challenge which will take place next month, she said: “The English Channel is not my first long distance swim but it will certainly be the most challenging. However, the threat of oil tankers, jelly fish and sewage will not deter me from reaching Calais.”