Open invitation to join in if you have diabetes

Organisers of local diabetes support groups are inviting anyone living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, their families or carers to a virtual open-door session later this month.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 10:53 am
Some diabetics have to control blood sugar levels with insulin.

Anyone on the Western Isles living with any type of diabetes are welcome to the online event – Cuppa and a Chat - on Saturday, 27th March to meet others living with the condition and hear more about the support available.

The event is being co-ordinated by charity Diabetes Scotland’s local group organisers in the Western Isles and aims to connect and support those living in isolated communities with much needed peer support, and help and advice, from diagnosis and beyond.

Initial diagnosis of this life-changing condition can be incredibly difficult, for families and individuals, while going onto manage diabetes every day can be very challenging.

Peer support can be a massive support for children with diabetes, their parents and individuals living with the condition – but with face-to-face events cancelled and meeting-up restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic this lifeline has been missing for many.

Group organisers also say living in remote communities across the Western Isles can mean accessing support can be tricky – even without the limitations of Covid.

That’s why they’re keen to spread the word far and wide about the new groups – and have as many new faces joining in for the Cuppa and a Chat event on Zoom at the end of March to find out what the communities of the north of Scotland can do to help each other.

Paul Munro, one of the organisers of the Diabetes Scotland local groups, and who lives with type 2 diabetes and is insulin dependant, said: “It is important to have support available to families and people affected by diabetes as not only is the condition itself isolating, but we are also living in a more isolated area of Scotland. Covid has only added to this.

Paul, who lives on Harris, continued: “We hope as many people will join us for peer support, sharing their experiences and helping one another. We can run online events as Covid continues, but hopefully we’ll be looking at being able to offer face-to-face events too. We’re keen to have as many people attend our kick-off coffee and catch-up so we can find out what would be most useful to people.”

Group support across the Outer Hebrides includes: two new community groups – one on the Isle of Lewis and the other on the Isle of Harris – and a new family group for children with type 1 diabetes, and their families.

For now though, current restrictions mean meetings will only be taking place online for the near future.

So all those with diabetes, their families, or carers, are being urged to attend the March event to talk about what support is needed across the islands.

Previously there has been no support in the Western Isles for children with type 1 diabetes and their families. The Lewis and Harris Diabetes Support Group was formed in August 2016, with the WI Family Group reforming on March 1.

Those keen to attend should email: [email protected] before March 24.