July update – by Barbara Young

Barbara Young
Last month was frankly odd! We did a lot of work behind the scenes following up the Public Accounts Committee hearing on diabetes. It feels a bit like a bit out of Kafka. Everyone in the Department of Health seems to recognise that Diabetes is a priority but no-one except the doughty Diabetes Czar and NHS Diabetes (both of whom could be shortly written out of the script in the NHS changes!) is doing very much to make it a priority. We struggle on. Watch this space…

At the same time, our very first Big Event was a great success with lots of old friends and lots of new people interested in diabetes coming together for a whirlwind of sessions and happenings at Warwick. The kids day which ran alongside was frankly scary as they scaled walls while learning how better to handle their diabetes (Don’t ask me how. I can’t even talk and make tea at the same time). And our new Young People’s Advisory Council met to plot new support for younger people with diabetes. Here’s a video of some of them explaining what they’re up to:

A lot of my time right now is devoted to supporting our fundraising efforts as times are tough out there for money. A big thanks to all who donate, volunteer or join as members.

If you could persuade one other person to sign up as a supporting member, that would be a great help. Details are here on our site. It’s not just about them supporting us. The more people we “know” through having them as members, the better placed we are to offer them the right sort of information, services and support at key points during their life with diabetes.

The contribution can be as little or as much as people feel able to give. I jokingly (?) say that two pounds a month makes me happy, five pounds a month makes me very happy and a £100 a month means that I will personally do their annual foot check and throw in a massage for free!

The Bupa Great Runs are in full swing as are the Risk Assessment Roadshow programme which they help fund. If there is either in your vicinity, do go along to cheer or say hello to our staff and volunteers. You can find out where the runs are taking place on our website, as well as seeing where the Roadshows will be visiting. When I watch the various runs (mostly from my TV, I have to admit) it gives me a great kick to see the Diabetes UK brand runners all over the place, raising the profile of diabetes.

Off now to cool off after the heat of the Olympics. I am changing my name to Charlotte and the horse is now known as Valegro.

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