Join the fight for a better future on World Diabetes Day – by Chris Askew
‘Driven to know more’ and ‘putting people first’ are two values we hold dear at Diabetes UK, and both have been at the heart of the biggest and deepest listening exercise we’ve ever done to learn about what matters most to people living with, or close, to diabetes.
In what we’ve dubbed our ‘big diabetes conversation’, we have listened to the experiences and hopes of more than 9,000 people living with or close to diabetes (and a huge thank you to you if you took up the invite).
We’ve listened to what you have told us, and what we’ve learned will now help us to plan our campaigns and to be a more effective charity working for and with you.
Join the fight for a better future
Today, on World Diabetes Day, we will pick up the key themes of what we heard, as we call for changes across each of the nations of the UK to provide the right level of support, care and investment in diabetes.
Our Future of Diabetes report, which we’re launching across the UK today, will represent your views and give us a platform from which to better support you all through our work. The themes of what we’ve learned are consistent in some areas: better access to healthcare professionals who understand diabetes, better access to technology and new treatments, and more widely available information and education, stood out as things that mattered to you no matter where you live in the UK.
Focus on emotional support in diabetes
While we hear often about the physical effects of diabetes, we heard loud and clear again how tough living with diabetes can be on our well being: 1 in 3 of you told us that diabetes had got in the way of doing something you or someone close to you wanted to do in the last week; 3 in 5 said you sometimes or often felt down because of your diabetes and only 33% said that you feel in control of your diabetes.
And that’s why we’re also calling today for a greater focus on emotional and psychological support in diabetes, and for more support and understanding at work or at school.
Of course, too, we’re focusing on giving hope for the future, with a call for more funding into research into all types of diabetes.
For Diabetes UK, our work starts with your experiences; when you tell us that ‘the worst thing is the sheer isolation’ because you lack information or peer support; or that ‘I am not a screen of test results’, because the questions are always about your diabetes and not about you; or that you hope one day to ‘live without medication’ – we listen and act, with others and with you, to bring about the change which is most needed.
So, this World Diabetes Day, thank you for speaking up and for helping us towards our shared vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm.
Read about our Future of Diabetes project