Meet our DPC bloggers – by Simon O’Neill

This year for the first time we ran an open competition for people in the diabetes online community to win the chance to blog from the Diabetes UK Professional Conference (DPC) 2016, which took place in Glasgow last week. People who aren’t healthcare professionals are restricted from attending the DPC by APBI rules but we were able to offer a limited number of places to bloggers and decided an open competition was the best way to select bloggers for the five places available. We received 17 really strong entries and it was a tough job for the judges to pick the best five. We anonymised the entries before they were seen by the judges so we could base our decisions purely on the entrants’ ideas and quality of writing.

Here’s a bit more information about each DPC blogger, along with links to the great blog posts they’ve written so far – please check back regularly over the next couple of weeks as we will link to any new posts as they are published.

Andy Broomhead

My name is Andy and I’ve had Type 1 Diabetes for over 13 years now. It probably took me the best part of a decade to fully understand the effect of having diabetes has had on all aspects of my life (both physical and emotional).

Andy-Broomhead-150x150I’m the Chair of my local Diabetes UK group in Sheffield and I’m also a member of Diabetes UK’s Council of People Living with Diabetes. I’m also a Service Champion in my local area and do a lot of work with our local CCG trying to improve care for people with diabetes.

I’ve been blogging about my experiences, successes and frustrations with diabetes for nearly four years now. I started using social media to help me manage my diabetes a few years ago too and I’ve found both things incredibly helpful!

Andy’s blog
DPC blog posts:
Impressions from day 1
Taking education to the masses
Individual care
The future’s bright
It’s not the end, it’s a new beginning


Ellie Huckle

Ellie is 18 years old and from London. She lives with her parents, older brother and twin sister. She has been Type 1 diabetic for almost seven years. She stopped listening to people telling her that cinnamon and Okra water would cure her Type 1 diabetes, and is frustrated and occasionally amused by people’s failure to understand the difference between Type 1 and 2 diabetes. She is a member of several social media groups for people with diabetes and has spoken in Parliament for both Diabetes UK and JDRF. Ellie also has a blog about life with Type 1 and enjoys reading other people’s blogs and articles all about improving the lives of those with Type 1. Ellie also enjoys using social media to talk about what her Bengal kitten is up to!
Ellie’s blog
DPC blog post:


Robin Swindell

Robin was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in May 2013, and manages the condition with diet, exercise and oral medication. He is a keen runner, occasional cyclist and can usually be found at Oak Hill parkrun at 9 o’clock on Saturday morning. He tweets as @fractis and blogs at about running, diabetes, cats, the mutual insurance sector and reinsurance.
Robin’s blog
DPC blog post
In gut we trust; the importance of microbiota (#DPC16)


Helen Wills

Helen is a copywriter and blogger from Hertfordshire. She writes about travel and parenting. Since her daughter’s diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in 2014, aged nine, Helen has used her family blog Actually Mummy to raise awareness and educate other parents about issues surrounding Type 1 management in children. She is very active on Twitter, and reads everything she lays eyes on in the quest for a better future for her daughter – who also blogs, and is particularly keen to make sure everyone knows she is allowed to eat cake!
Helen’s blog


Charlotte Austin

Charlotte is 27, from Swansea and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in July 1992 at the age of 3. Her experiences include the transition from paediatric to young adult care, moving from home to university, the ups and downs of student life, and embarking on a professional career. In recent times, she has been actively involved with the Diabetes UK Grants Advisory Panel, the Council of People Living with Diabetes and projects for young people living with diabetes. These roles have given her the opportunity to present at conferences in 2015 as well as the chance to attend the IDF Europe Youth Leadership camp. She is particularly interested in technology, sport and exercise, social media, peer support and sharing experiences/best practice with people living in other countries. Charlotte comes from a publishing background and currently works in medical communications.
Read Charlotte’s DPC blog
Charlotte’s blog

You might also like