Big Collection Update
In 2013 we held the largest bucket collection Diabetes UK has ever seen – the Big Collection. During the 4, 5 and 6 October, our amazing volunteers helped to raise over £380,000 in Tesco stores throughout the UK.
The buzz created over the weekend was fantastic and helped to raise awareness of diabetes and the work of Diabetes UK. There were some fantastic fancy dress outfits and it looked like everyone had a great time taking part.
We wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone in Wales who took part in the Big Collection and helped to raise a staggering £25,345.43 in the 33 stores that took part in Wales.
Staff and volunteers were truly touched by the generosity and support they received from members of the public. We heard so many inspiring stories from people whose lives have been affected by diabetes.
The hard work and dedication of our team leaders and collection volunteers in Wales helped to make our Big Collection weekend a huge success, thank you!
If you are interested in future volunteering opportunities please contact us on 029 2066 8276 or email email@example.com.
Beat the flu before it beats you
Diabetes UK Cymru is advising people in Wales at increased risk of complications from flu to get their free annual protection against the virus. Free flu jabs are available to everyone aged 65 and over, people with certain long term health conditions, pregnant women and children in ‘at risk’ groups from 6 months. Most NHS flu jabs for people in these groups are offered by GPs and some community pharmacies in Wales.
Dai Williams, Director of Diabetes UK Cymru said: “People with diabetes under the age of 65 are over nine times more likely to die from the flu than people who don’t have diabetes in this age group.“
"Having flu can affect diabetes control and cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate. This can leave people with diabetes open to many other health problems, including pneumonia and bronchitis.”
Every year people die from flu and its complications. Many more see their GP with symptoms or require hospital admission.
Flu can be very serious and can’t usually be treated. However, it can be largely prevented with one simple vaccination. Despite this, last year over one third of those with diabetes did not take up their free vaccination (34%).It is vital that you beat flu before it beats you. The flu vaccine is safe, effective, and free for those who are at increased risk. It can help protect the most vulnerable people against serious complications of flu.
For more information on the free flu jab visit the Public Health Wales and Beat Flu campaign websites.
16 September 2013
It's National Eye Health Week
The fourth National Eye Health Week takes place 16-22 September. During the week, eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK are joining together to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. Here Alexandra McMillan from RNIB Cymru explains some simple steps that everyone can take to look after their eyes.
Did you know?
- Diabetes can affect your eye in a number of ways, the most serious of which is a condition called diabetic retinopathy. 40 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes and 20 per cent with type 2 diabetes will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy.
- Everyone in Wales with diabetes is invited to attend Diabetic Retinopathy Screening – a vital test to ensure that any changes taking place to your retina are detected quickly. Most sight loss due to diabetes is preventable if treatment is given early.
- Diabetic Retinopathy Screening is only aimed at detecting that particular condition, so it is important that you also have a comprehensive eye examination to check for any other eye conditions or changes to your vision. People with diabetes are entitled to a free eye health examination from an accredited optometrist as part of the Wales Eye Care Service.
What can you do to keep your eyes healthy?
As well as attending screening and making regular visits to your optometrist, here are four recommend actions to keep your eyes healthy:
- Stop smoking. Smoking can double your risk of developing some eye conditions. In fact, the link is as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer. Speak to your GP about stopping smoking.
- Eat healthily and watch your weight. Eating a diet low in saturated fats but rich in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli may help protect against eye disease. Oranges, kiwis, nuts, seeds and oily fish may also help.
- Keep your eyes covered in the sun. UVA and UVB rays in sunlight can harm your eyes and may increase the risk of cataracts. Wearing sunglasses, glasses or contacts lenses with a built in UV filter will protect your eyes. Only buy sunglasses that have a CE mark or carry British Standard BSEN 1863:1997.
- Safety first. DIY causes thousands of eye related injuries each year. Always wear safety goggles(European Standard BS EN 166) to protect your eyes from flying debris and fine particles. Sports (especially racquet-based sports) also cause lots of eye related injuries each year. Investing in a good pair of protective sports goggles will help prevent serious damage to your eyes.
For more information about National Eye Health Week please visit the website.
Hywel Dda Health Board Staff 'ThinkGlucose'
Hywel Dda Health Board is implementing a national programme to improve patient care in diabetes.
The organisation is one of two health boards implementing the ThinkGlucose programme in Wales, which will aim to improve the current management and safety of patients with diabetes who are in hospital. It will focus on:
- Raising awareness and educating staff about diabetes
- Enhancing the patient experience
- Improving the safety and quality of inpatient care provided for patients with diabetes
- Helping to significantly reduce the length of stay for patients with diabetes
- Preventing potentially life-threatening insulin and medication errors
- Encouraging and supporting self care for patients with diabetes
- Improving health outcomes
All staff involved in the management of inpatients who have diabetes will receive further training in order to “ThinkGlucose”.
The programme is being piloted in medical and surgical wards in Glangwili and Prince Philip Hospitals, short stay surgical and acute coronary and medical wards in Bronglais Hospital, Ward 1 in Withybush Hospital and in Llandovery Community Hospital.
At least 10% of inpatients in Hywel Dda Health Board have known diabetes and this figure may be as high as 25% in some high risk groups.
Consultant Diabetologist and Health Board Clinical Lead for ThinkGlucose Dr Sam Rice said: “For patients with diabetes, particularly those on insulin, being in hospital can be a very difficult time. It is necessary for our staff to take control of glucose monitoring, insulin dose and timing of injections, as well as what and when people eat, which the individual would normally manage themselves. In order to give the best care to these patients, our staff need to be highly trained and require regular updating.
“The ThinkGlucose programme will improve staff understanding of diabetes and enable the delivery of higher standards of inpatient care.”
A grandfather who was diagnosed with diabetes aged 21 has been awarded a prestigious Diabetes UK medal to mark living 50 years with the condition.
Eryl Edwards of Llanuwchllyn, has been presented with the charity’s Alan Nabarro Medal after living with diabetes for five decades.
The medal was established in memory of Alan Nabarro OBE, who waged a life-long battle against discrimination against people with diabetes. In the past two years, just six people in Wales have received the medal.
Retired social worker Mr Edwards, 71, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an unpreventable condition which happens when the body stops making insulin, in October 1962.
He was told he had the condition after feeling incredibly thirsty and losing weight for no reason, both classic symptoms of diabetes.
He ascribes his continuing good health to moderation in all things and the constant support of his wife, retired teacher Bethan.
Eryl has always taken his diabetes seriously and never misses his foot and eye checks and regular visits to Wrexham Maelor Hospital, whose care he describes as excellent.
“I am proud to receive the Nabarro Medal,” said Eryl, “It is a reminder of how far I have come through looking after myself with a condition that can and does shorten people’s lives.”
“I would encourage younger people with diabetes to take it seriously and take positive steps to stay healthy. It is well worth it in the long run.”
Diabetes UK medals are available to people who have lived with diabetes for 50, 60 and 70 years.
Wales ‘sleepwalking to diabetic society’
Diabetes UK Cymru has today (Weds Nov 21)launched a hard-hitting report – State of the Nation 2012 – which pinpoints major failings by Welsh health authorities and government in dealing with the rising tide of diabetes.
“Diabetes is growing out of control,” warns the report, citing an increase of 35,000 people with the condition in just the last five years to a current total of 160,000. By 2025, the number of people with diabetes is forecast to top 250,000.
“We are sleepwalking towards a diabetic society,” warns director Dai Williams, “A country where for many it is ‘normal’ to have diabetes by the age of 50, where NHS services are unable to cope and where thousands suffer the misery of sight loss, amputation, stroke, kidney failure and premature death.”
Williams says that 10 per cent of NHS resources are already spent on diabetes& - mostly on its complications - and this is likely to spiral as more and more people get diabetes.
The report emerges as the National Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee is conducting an inquiry into diabetes services and the Welsh Government is due to publish shortly its diabetes strategy.
“We hope the new strategy does not meet the fate of its predecessor ten years ago, most of whose most important aims and plans remain unachieved, “ says Williams.
“An urgent national grip needs to be taken of the situation,” warns the report, “The alternative is an NHS swamped by demand and a massive toll in human misery.”
Union building goes blue for World Diabetes Day
Unite, the UK’s largest union, lit up its Wales HQ in electric blue in support of World Diabetes Day on November 14. The union’s Wales head office on Cardiff’s Cathedral Road was illuminated in true blue to mark the special day named by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) to focus attention on escalating rates of diabetes across the world.
November 14th was chosen because it is the birthday of Frederick Banting who discovered insulin in 1922, with Charles Best. “We are delighted to join people all over the world who are lighting up buildings in blue to highlight the devastating impact this condition has on people and their families, including many of our members,” said Unite Wales Secretary, Andy Richards.
“In Wales there are already at least 160,000 people diagnosed with diabetes and a further 66,000 who have the condition but do not yet know it. By 2030, one in ten people in Wales could have diabetes,” said Dai Williams, director of Diabetes UK Cymru. “Diabetes is a serious condition – it’s the biggest cause of blindness in working age people and its other complications include heart disease, kidney failure and nerve damage that can lead to amputation,” he added.
At a Diabetes UK Roadshow in Cardiff last week, almost half those who took risk assessment tests (101 of 211 people) were found to have increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The charity is calling for concerted government action to inform the public about how to prevent the onset on Type 2 diabetes by opting for healthier lifestyles.
Diabetes UK Cymru’s first Newport Marathon off to flying start
The weather held up, the runners turned out and passers by cheered as the first Newport Marathon run by Diabetes UK Cymru hit the trail on October 28.
At least forty runners lined up for the half and full marathon events whose backdrop included some of Newport’s most famous landmarks - Newport Castle, the Fourteen Locks, the Transporter Bridge, the new University, the Riverfront Theatre and the River Usk.
One runner, Lynn Williams (53) came all the way from Australia for the marathon. Brought up in Blackwood, he settled in Oz in 1998 and works as a software support engineer in Sydney.
“When I heard Diabetes UK Cymru were organising the Newport Marathon, I decided to combine running it with a trip home to see my mum, who is 82 and now lives in Usk,” said former triathlete Lynn.
Another runner (pictured above left with friend) Lesley Parratt,53, a classroom assistant from Gaer, Newport, was inspired to take on the half marathon by her son Simon who has lost ten stone in weight since March.
Honours for the fastest times went to Hywel Davies of Rugby at 2.55.24, followed by Thomas Cooling of Monmouth at 3.09.49 and BenGallagher of Newport at 3.34.34 for the full race. First woman across the line was Phlippa Sampson of Swansea at 4.04.08.
In the half marathon, Chris Adams of Gloucestershire came first at 1.32.10, followed by Chris Jones of Newport at 1.33.49. Third place went to runner number 227, but a number swap has delayed identification. First woman home was Julie Davies of Rugby at 1.35.00.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We would like to thank everyone who took part in and helped us organise this great event, which we hope will go from strength to strength in the years to come.
Inspire Awards recognise excellence in volunteering
Diabetes UK Cymru has presented its first ever Inspire Awards in a new scheme designed to reward excellence in volunteering for the charity in the past year.
They were presented at a gala dinner held after the charity’s annual conference in the Village Hotel Swansea on October 6.
“The Inspire Awards are a great opportunity to thank the people who deserve recognition for their commitment and enthusiasm in all they have done for people with diabetes and Diabetes UK Cymru,” said Dai Williams, director of the charity.
All the awards were judged by an independent panel of staff and volunteers outside Wales. Full details of the awards categories and winners will be published in our volunteering pages. Pictures from the Volunteering Conference are available on Flickr:
Pictured is Wendy Gane of Cynon Valley, who won the Director's Award.
Andy takes the plunge to mark son’s decade of diabetes
A North Wales dad got into deep water to support a charity close to his family’s heart.
Andy Brazier of Craig-y-Don, Llandudno swam in Lake Bala for Diabetes UK Cymru to mark the 10th anniversary of his son’s diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes.
Matthew, 14, was diagnosed with the condition when he was three. Andy said:
“The first half mile was quite daunting, but when you’ve done that, you know you know what you’re in for on the way back.”
“It was good to see the sight of hundreds of people cheering me when I got back!” added Andy, whose efforts raised £1,100 for the charity.
Now in its third year, the Lake Bala Swim took place on Sunday 23 September. Andy was one of thirty swimmers to brave the one mile course. Luckily, the weather was fine and there were hot drinks and stalls available on shore, including a hog roast.
Diabetes UK Cymru would like to thanks all the swimmers, their supporters and all our volunteers for making the swim such a success.
You can find more pictures of the swim here.
One in Ten diabetes and stroke campaign kicks off – with support of top rugby coach Robin
A major public health campaign has been launched in Wales with every single community pharmacy opening its doors for risk tests to predict two of the country’s biggest health scourges – stroke and diabetes.
In a unique partnership, diabetes and stroke charities have joined forces with pharmacists, health providers and the Welsh Government to deliver One in Ten, the campaign that aims to find the ten per cent of us at increased risk of getting diabetes or having a stroke.
Helping to kick these conditions into touch is Wales rugby assistant coach Robin McBryde who launched the campaign by turning up for his own risk assessment at Walter Lloyd & Son Pharmacy in Lammas Street, Carmarthen.
Robin, 42, who gained 37 caps for Wales as a hooker before coaching the national side, is supporting the campaign because beating diabetes and stroke are causes close to his heart.
“I saw my great friend Ray Gravell lose his life because of the complications of diabetes. Closer to home, my own mother had a stroke this April – although thankfully she has made a great recovery.”
Robin was welcomed into Walter Lloyd’s by pharmacist Chris James, who measured his height and weight before going through two short questionnaires with him.
“These questionnaires are designed to spot the risk factors in someone’s health and lifestyle. For example, smoking raises your risks of getting a stroke, and being overweight ups your chances of getting diabetes,” says Chris.
Unsurprisingly for a sportsman, Robin’s risk of diabetes and stroke is low – he is physically active, does not smoke and eats healthily. His blood pressure is normal, and although being white and over 40 raises his risk of stroke, this risk can be kept in check by healthy lifestyle choices.
“Unless you get the balance right in your lifestyle, it could be dangerous for your health to be a Welsh rugby fan,” says Robin, “Over-drinking and fast food eating, not to mention all the stress involved in watching the matches are all contributing factors!
“But if you want to enjoy years more cheering on Wales, my advice is, get down your local pharmacy and find out what your risks are and how you can improve your chances of a longer and healthier life.”
Campaign aims to find 1 in 10 at risk of stroke and diabetes
Diabetes UK Cymru, the Stoke Association, Public Health Wales, Community Pharmacy Wales and all seven health boards have joined forces to launch a major public health campaign on a scale seldom seen before in the UK.
Its bold aim is to find the one in ten people in Wales who are at risk of developing diabetes or having a stroke. Free risk assessments will be on offer at every single pharmacy outlet in the country – at total of 714 chemists. The One in Ten campaign runs for two weeks from Sept 3.
“It’s really important that people know their risks – 11,000 people have a stroke every year in Wales,” said Ana Palazon, director of the Stroke Association in Wales.
“Many strokes can be prevented. Once you know you are at risk, there are plenty of things that you can do to lower your chances of having a stroke, such as changing your diet, giving up smoking and cutting down your drinking.”
Dai Williams, director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “There are an estimated 350,000 people in Wales unaware that they run a high risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. If this campaign can find even a fraction of those people, it will be worthwhile because like stroke, diabetes is heavily related to lifestyle. If you know your risk, you can take steps for a healthier future.”
Last year, in a pharmacy campaign that focused solely on diabetes, 17,500 people were assessed. 8.4 per cent were of high risk of developing the condition and 24 per cent at increased risk.
The risk assessments will be offered in pharmacies and take just a few minutes. Depending on the results, people at risk will either be given referral letters to their GPs or advised to mention their status to their doctor. All comers will be given information on how to reduce their risk of stroke and diabetes.
Diabetes UK Cymru welcomes launch of inquiry into diabetes services in Wales
Wales’ leading diabetes charity today (Thurs) congratulated the Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee on launching an inquiry into progress made on implementing the National Service Framework for Diabetes in Wales.
The inquiry was announced officially in committee today (Thurs) by Mark Drakeford AM, its chair and will look into how effectively all the health boards prevent and treat diabetes.
The National Service Framework (NSF) is a 10-year delivery plan drawn up in 2003 to tackle the increasing prevalence of diabetes, improve services and achieve better outcomes for people diagnosed with the condition.
In 2008 all local health boards were asked to produce action plans aimed at meeting the recommendations in the NSF by 2013.
“Ten years on from the publication of the Framework, people with diabetes are still waiting for its recommendations to be made reality,” said Dai Williams, director of Diabetes UK Cymru.
“In spite of the call for action plans and in spite of numerous urgings from us to speed up the process, the NSF remains more a wishlist than a reality.
“From the lack training hospital staff in managing diabetes on wards to the short supply of insulin pumps, people in Wales are not getting a fair deal across many aspects of care for their condition.
“We welcome the launch of this inquiry and look forward to seeing its recommendations, which we hope will drive forward progress towards the implementation in full of the National Service Framework.
Diabetes UK Cymru volunteers lobby Welsh Assembly members
Volunteers from all over Wales arrived in Cardiff Bay today (Weds 4 July) to lobby their Assembly members for better services for people with diabetes.
At least 27 people from as far afield as Bangor, Carmarthen and Montgomery met with 12 AMs in Ty Hywel near the Senedd.
Keith and Nora Marshall from Cardiff talked to their AM Jenny Rathbone, who heads the Assembly’s Cross Party Working Group on Diabetes on the availability of blood testing strips for people with Type 2 diabetes and the care of people with the condition in hospital, as highlighted by a recent Ombudsman’s report into the death of a pensioner after a stay in Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth.
Dai Williams, director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We appreciate that so many AMs have made time to meet their constituents to talk about diabetes.
“Diabetes is one of the gravest health issues of the day, so it is gratifying that our politicians show their awareness and concern in this way.
“We are also deeply grateful to all our volunteers who have made sometimes very long journeys down to Cardiff Bay to take part in the democratic process and spread the word about a condition that affects them and their families personally every day.”
‘Xpert’ graduates gather for recap on diabetes control
Men and women with Type 2 diabetes in Newport got together this week to support each other and revise all they learned on managing their condition at special courses in the past year.
The courses – called Xpert – are designed to help people with Type 2 diabetes come to terms with their diagnosis and fit the condition into their everyday lives. The courses are free and cover all aspects of medication and lifestyle.
The recap and reunion day was held on June 28 at the Beaufort Centre in Newport.
“It was great to see so many of our ‘graduates’ again, looking well and getting good control of their diabetes,” said Karen Mahon, a dietitian at the Royal Gwent Hospital who helps run the Xpert courses.
“I was impressed by how well they had remembered what they had learned and the changes they had made to their lives, like getting more exercise and eating the right things.”
Christine Jones (69) of Riverside Gardens had had diabetes for ten years before she went on an Xpert course in January this year.
“I’d always thought diabetes was about sugar, but doing the course, I found out for the first time that it’s all about carbohydrates. It’s made a big difference to me. I’ve lost over eight kilos in weight and I have stable blood sugars for the first time in years. I feel much better and really feel I understand my diabetes.”
For Paul Carey of Lysaght Avenue, Newport, a diagnosis of diabetes aged just 35 was a harsh wake-up call.
“It happened last October – I was gutted. I thought ‘why me?’ and was pretty sorry for myself,” says Paul, a general manager of a steel plant in Bedwas.
“For me, doing the Xpert course was part of coming to terms with having diabetes and brought about a total change in my attitude. A better outlook meant I could take control of things and I feel in charge now and much happier.”
At the recap day, the ‘Xperts’ took part is revision exercises on diabetes, had a presentation on foot care from a podiatrist and met with staff from Diabetes UK Cymru who attended with a stall packed with advice leaflets and useful information.
“Xpert is a tried and tested way of getting people to manage their diabetes and it’s a real investment in a healthy future. This is because good diabetes control means that future complications like eye, heart, kidney and foot problems are far less likely, “ said Carol Owen of Diabetes UK Cymru, who attended the day.
Dai Williams, director of the charity, said: “Unfortunately, very small numbers of people attend these courses.
“Only two percent of people with diabetes in Wales have attended Xpert or similar courses, much lower than other parts of the UK. All too often, this is because courses are poorly promoted or Health Boards have insufficient funds to provide enough places.
“Diabetes UK Cymru is campaigning for better funding and greater availability of courses across Wales so that all people can get to benefit in the way the Xpert people in Newport obviously have.”
Neath Diabetes UK Roadshow reveals future toll of condition in town
A roadshow offering free diabetes risk assessment tests to Neath people revealed that over half those tested were of medium to high risk of getting diabetes.
Of the 223 who were risk assessed in the Diabetes UK trailer on Angel Street, Neath last Thursday and Friday, 51% were given letters of referral to their GPs.
“When they visit their doctors, these people will get advice on how to lower their risk by changing their lifestyle. Some will be offered immediate diagnostic tests for diabetes if they already have symptoms like thirst, weight loss and tiredness,” said Ellen Blanks of Diabetes UK Cymru, who co-ordinated the volunteers staffing the Roadshow.
“These results reveal how widespread is the risk of developing diabetes in Neath and the hidden future toll the condition will take of the health of the town.”
The town has the second highest prevalence of diabetes in Wales (only exceeded by Blaenau Gwent) with 6.2% of the population having diabetes against a national average of 5%. Every year, at least 102 people in Neath die prematurely because of the condition.
Neath was the first place in Wales visited by the Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow on its 96-location journey across the UK.
Each visitor was offered free fruit, a Type 2 diabetes risk assessment test, a chat with expert dieticians and the chance to have a go in the physical activity zone
Diabetes UK hopes to risk assess about 15,000 people to determine their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, referring those at 'moderate' or 'high' risk to their GP for further tests. As well as providing general information about Type 2 diabetes, Roadshows provide important advice about how leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk./more
Thirty five of this year's roadshows are funded by a £414,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, a further 60 have been funded by money raised from our Bupa Great Run Series partnership.
Next stop after Neath will be Wrexham on 6/7 August, followed by Newport, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Cardiff.
Call to reduce amputations in Wales on people with diabetes
Diabetes UK Cymru is marking Diabetes Week 2012 with a campaign to reduce the hundreds of amputations carried out each year on people with diabetes.
The campaign, launched today (Weds 13 June) in Cardiff at a Love Your Feet Day event at the City United Reformed Church, Windsor Place, has the backing of podiatrists and other health care professionals in Wales and the National Specialist Advisory Group on diabetes..
The shocking facts are that people with diabetes are 20 times more likely to have a lower limb amputation and that at least 330 such amputations take place in Wales every year. At least 80% of these amputations are preventable. Once an amputation has been carried out, 80% of patients do not survive more than five years.
The charity’s ambitious aim is to significantly reduce diabetes-related amputations. They want people with diabetes to be aware of the risks and look after their feet – and are calling for better foot care for people with diabetes both from their GPs and in hospital.
Diabetes UK Cymru director Dai Williams said “The latest research shows that between 78% and 84% of people with diabetes are getting annual foot checks but the data we have suggests the picture across Wales is patchy – in some GP practices almost all people with diabetes get an annual foot check, in others less than half get it.
“There is also cause for concern in hospitals. Almost half the people admitted with diabetes have complications from active foot disease and yet just 10% of them get a foot exam within 24 hours of admission. At least 19% of all hospital inpatients have diabetes, yet training of general nurses in basic foot care is patchy if not absent.
“There is an urgent need for improved education of ward staff in diabetic foot surveillance and people with active foot ulcers must have access to the full range of specialist services in hospital.”.
Four to run London Marathon for Diabetes UK Cymru
Welsh people from Usk, Pontardulais, Cardiff and Abergavenny are taking on the Virgin London Marathon 2012 for Diabetes UK Cymru. All of them have strong personal reasons for choosing to raise money for the charity that supports people living with diabetes.
Company director Mark Hurford (35) from Ladyhill Close, Usk was inspired because of his father’s long struggle with the disease. Richard Hurford had his left leg fully amputated as a result of diabetes two years ago.
Marcus Primhak (pictured) of Oakfield Street, Roath, Cardiff was inspired to run the Marathon in memory of his best friend, Matt Taylor, who died aged just 35 in 2008. Matt had Type I diabetes from early childhood and died following complications in the wake of a kidney and pancreas transplant.
David Hughes of Rother Avenue, Abergavenny is 44 and is tackling the Marathon in support of his brother, Nigel Hughes, 46 who is waiting for a double transplant and undergoing kidney dialysis three times a week because of the effects of diabetes.
Memories of a much-loved mother who died in 2008 as a result of the complications of diabetes spurred on 49-year-old school cleaner Heather James of Twyniago Road, Pontardulais to enter the London Marathon.
All four runners will proudly wear the charity’s logo when the line-up for the 26-mile course in London on April 22.
First family sign up for Great Welsh Coastal Walk for Diabetes UK Cymru
The Wild family from Prestatyn are among the first people to sign up for the Great Welsh Coastal Walk on May 5 to raise money for Diabetes UK Cymru.
Sarah Wild, daughter Sophie (13) and son Matthew (16) of South Meadow Close will don their walking shoes to complete five miles between Prestatyn Sailing Club along Gronant Dunes to Talacre.
“In fact, we’ll be walking ten miles that day – once we’ve walked there and back!” says Sarah.
The Wilds will be making history along with people all round Wales on the launch day of the country’s first ever complete coastal path. The aim is to have every mile of the route walked over the opening weekend.
The path is a Welsh Government scheme costing £10m and runs from Chepstow in the Severn Estuary right the way to Queensferry in Flintshire.
It stretches some 870 miles (1,400km) and prompted travel bible Lonely Planet to name Wales as one of the best regions in the world to visit this year.
The Wilds have more than one reason to walk for Diabetes Uk Cymru – Sophie has had Type 1 diabetes since she was a child and Sarah’s dad and grandparents had Type 2.
For every mile of the coastal path, there are 250 people with diabetes who live in Wales.
You can find the coastal path walk to suit you by looking at the Ramblers Cymru website. To walk for Diabetes UK Cymru, contact Joseph Cuff on 029 2066 8276 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
New service eases strain on busy GPs
A Wales-based diabetes support service could save trips to the doctor and lessen the strain on hard-pressed GPs, according to Diabetes UK Cymru.
The charity’s new Peer Support Service means people with diabetes can speak on the phone or on email with a trained team of men and women who have faced problems with diabetes before and overcome them.
Service co-ordinator Ruth Wilson, based in Cardiff, says: “So often what someone with diabetes needs is just a good chat or grumble with someone who really understands, rather than an appointment with a doctor. This service is a vital tool for people living with diabetes, and we want people to use it!”
Peer Support is a safe and secure service, as all information is kept confidential within the scheme. Currently, there are seven volunteers available, but several more are in training and the service hopes to build up to a 30-strong team in the coming year.
So far there is a major gap in the service – no Welsh speakers have yet applied to be peer supporters. It is estimated that Welsh speakers make up at least a sixth of Wales’ 160,000 people with diabetes – 27,000 people.
“We need Welsh speakers so we can provide a service to everyone in Wales. Speakers of other languages, such as Somali or Urdu, would also be welcomed with open arms, “says Ruth.
Peer support volunteer Donna Clark from Cwmbran, says: “The reason I became involved with peer support is I know first hand how lonely it can feel being a parent of a child with diabetes. It was not the medical stuff that got me down or I struggled with as there was always a nurse on call. It was the real stuff, living day to day - just normal life that diabetes sometimes gets in the way of. Sharing ideas views and talking things over with other parents really helped me. So I wanted to offer support to others.”
This month Diabetes UK launched its Peer Support service to 3,000 delegates at the annual Diabetes Professional Conference in Glasgow.
Doctors described the service as ‘innovative’ and 'ground-breaking' and agreed that it would provide much-needed support to their patients and reduce their surgery visits.
Cardiff GP Kamila Hawthorne says: “With the best will in the world, there is often not enough time in the surgery to talk over people’s worries and concerns at any length. Peer support offers people the chance of an informal chat with someone who understands what they are going through.
“We also find that some people don’t want to use GP time to raise what they see as minor concerns, so they keep their
worries bottled up and get stressed and anxious. Peer support gives people with diabetes the chance to discuss their problems freely before they get out of hand, and may also provide guidance on how to approach your GP if you do indeed need to talk to him or her.”
Callers can speak to a volunteer during opening hours (Wednesdays 12:00 - 15:00, Fridays 09:00 - 12:00, Sundays 19:00 - 22:00) on 0843 353 8600. Callers are asked to use their key pad to choose whether to speak to someone living with Type 1, Type 2 or a parent of a child with diabetes.
Tribute to veteran fundraisers
A couple who were tireless fundraisers and founder members of Carmarthen and District Diabetes Voluntary Group have died within a month of each other.
Joint presidents Lt.Col Ralph Tucker TD DL and his wife Mary lived in Laugharne.
Ralph and Mary were founder members of the Carmarthen group and were two of its mainstays for over 30 years.
Wanted: people with diabetes who can help others
An innovative support scheme for people living with diabetes, run from the Cardiff office of Diabetes UK Cymru is looking for some very special volunteers.
The scheme links up those in need with people who know first-hand that dealing with diabetes can be tough.
Peer Support offers a telephone and internet service run by volunteers who are living with diabetes, providing empathetic and heart-felt support to anyone in the UK. The service is confidential, safe and secure.
Peer Support project manager Ruth Wilson is running two training courses for potential peer support volunteers in Cardiff in the coming few weeks and is inviting anyone who thinks they could do the job to get in touch.
Callers and website visitors are linked up to particular volunteers who have experience of the issue in question. Ruth has recruited and trained a panel of volunteers from Wales who will join other volunteers in England on a rota that ensures there will always be someone available, but she needs more volunteers to come forward.
The training takes place in the Cardiff office of Diabetes UK Cymru on February 22 and March 14 – volunteers must attend both days. Lunch is provided and travel expenses paid.
Ruth says: “This is an opportunity to help offer a unique service to people with diabetes. If you are a person with the condition who remembers going through rough patches, you’ll know just how important it is to have a listening ear.
Danielle’s a down-to-earth fundraiser!
23-year-old charity worker Danielle Angell Nelson, South Wales has topped her recent Sydney Harbour Bridge climb with a dare-devil skydive from 14,000 feet in Brisbane, Australia to raise funds for Diabetes UK Cymru.
Danielle Angell, who works for the charity as a volunteering development support officer in Cardiff, has now reached her fundraising target of £500 for the charity.
On January 2 she completed a 3.5 hour climb that took her along the outer arch of Sydney Harbour Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 metres above the harbour.
A week later, on her birthday, she took to the air in Redcliffe, near Brisbane to tandem freefall, then parachute down to the beach 14,000 feet below.
“It was my first skydive, and I was most scared when we boarded the aircraft, but when we were up there it was alright. The best part was looking down on the city and the ocean on the way down,” says Danielle.
You can still sponsor Danielle on http://www.justgiving.com/Danielle-Angell0
January 2012 is the 90th anniversary of insulin – but rates of diabetes are still soaring
Diabetes UK Cymru is celebrating the fact that thousands of people across Wales are alive and well thanks to insulin.
But they warn that society must wake up to the health ‘timebomb’ that soaring rates of diabetes represent today.
Before January 1922, a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes was in effect a death sentence. Before 1945 when the NHS was founded, you could only get insulin if you could afford it.
Today, there are at least 16,000 people with Type ! diabetes who depend on their daily injections of insulin. A further 43, 400 people in Wales have Type 2 diabetes and are also dependent on insulin – a grand total of 59,400 people who rely on the hormone every day in Wales.
The pioneers of insulin would marvel at today’s technology – ultra tiny needles, genetically modified insulin that mimics the real thing, electronic blood testing, insulin pumps, even artificial pancreas surgery.
But they would be also astounded by the growth of the condition – incidence has doubled in just ten years in Wales. Today there are 160,000 people with diabetes (and 66,000 more who probably have it but are not yet diagnosed.
A further 7,000 are diagnosed every year. By 2030, conservative estimates reckon there will be at least 312,000 people with diabetes in Wales – that’s a population the size of Cardiff and Penarth combined!
Dai Williams, Diabetes UK Cymru director, said: “Our founders worked to ensure insulin was available and thanks to Banting’s fantastic discovery, 59,400 people in Wales are able to live healthy lives. However, there is still a long way to go. “Millions are affected by diabetes but with health screening and early diagnosis, people can act to reduce their risk.
Yet people with diabetes are still not getting the care they deserve. That’s why we’ve launched the 15 healthcare essentials – which outline the checks and specialist services all people with diabetes should receive – and we are calling for the NHS to provide this care to help people manage their diabetes and reduce the risk of devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.
Danielle scales Sydney Harbour Bridge for Diabetes UK Cymru
A 23-year-old charity worker from Nelson, South Wales has just scaled the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia to raise funds for Diabetes UK Cymru.
Danielle Angell, who works for the charity as a volunteering development support officer in Cardiff, hit the heights on Jan 2 after a 3.5 hour climb that took her along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour."It was scary, but worth it – the views were out of this world!" said Danielle who has been tweeting her family and many supporters back home in Wales.
The trip was a lifelong ambition, but also made up for the disappointment of being unable to run the Cardiff Half Marathon last year due to a knee injury. Not content with just one daredevil challenge, Danielle has another on the way.
She is due to skydive, also in Oz, from 14000 ft. on January 8 – which happens to be her birthday!
" This is something I've never done before, .but hopefully an experience that I will never want to forget. You .can't get much better than a sky dive on your birthday, landing on the beach in Brisbane!"
"I have decided to complete these challenge to raise money for Diabetes UK, a charity very close to my heart." You can sponsor Danielle on http://www.justgiving.com/Danielle-Angell0
Festive fun runners brave deluge
Soaking Santas, rain-drenched elves and much-buffeted Christmas trees were in evidence at Penarth’s second annual Festive Fun Run – but no-one let the weather dampen their spirits.
200 runners turned out in seasonal fancy dress to run the 3K cliff-top route on December 11.. The event raised much-needed funds for Diabetes UK Cymru and The Marie Curie Hospice, Penarth.
“Luckily it was only drizzling during the run, although everyone had rain gear on over their costumes,” said organiser Cathy O’Docherty, whose son has Type 1 diabetes. “But the heavens really opened when we were clearing up and we all got soaked to the skin!”
Runners took the festive costume brief loosely and a running nun was spotted alongside a Superted, assorted Christmas trees, elves and many Santas. There was a strong contingent from Penarth’s ABC Boxing Club and a team from RNLI ran in full lifeboat gear. The event had sponsorship from many local firms.
Starting at the Clifftops car park at 1.30pm, the circular run took participants along the seafront, and then up through the Penarth parks at the back of the Marie Curie Hospice before returning to the car park.
This year children under the age of 12 were invited to take part as long as they were accompanied by an adult, and kids were much in evidence – many whole families did the run together. In addition to the run, the day featured entertainment for the whole family including carol singing, the RAF Brass Band, mulled wine, mince pies, a goody bag for every runner and raffle prizes.
Last year the fun run, raised £6,000, and this year’s event is on course to beat that.
Athlete living with diabetes to carry the Olympic flame
An athlete who has refused to let having diabetes hold her back is to carry the flame in the 2012 Olympic torch relay.
Sprinter Melanie Stephenson, of Gabalfa, Cardiff, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an unpreventable condition which happens when the body stops making insulin, when she was 13.
In the 10 years following her diagnosis, the 23-year-old has refused to let having the condition interfere with her running career, representing Wales in the 100m and 200m.
The fashion graduate is now setting her sights on competing in the indoor Welsh and British Athletic Championships and perhaps even qualifying to represent Team GB in the 2012 Games.
Melanie has heard she had been selected after being put forward for the accolade by Diabetes UK Cymru. She will carry the torch somewhere between Worcester and Cardiff on May 25 2012.
She was nominated for her volunteering work for the charity, which has seen her give talks, volunteer at events and help to raise awareness of diabetes by sharing her experiences in the Welsh media.
"Words cannot describe how excited I am," said Melanie, a product presentation lead for Nike who is based in the company’s Cardiff store.
"I never thought volunteering could lead to something like this. Thank you doesn't cover it as far as Diabetes UK Cymru are concerned - I am so grateful for them nominating me and supporting the nomination all the way along. They’ve given me a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can't wait 'til 2012!"
Diabetes UK Cymru worker named one of UK’s best
Diabetes UK Cymru media and communications officer Kerry-Lynne Pyke has been named by industry magazine PR week as one of the most talented young professionals under the age of 29 in the UK. Kerry-Lynne (27) has worked for the charity since June 2009. She comes from Baglan, Port Talbot, and lives in Bridgend. Kerry-Lynne worked as a journalist on the Glamorgan Gazette in Bridgend and for Wales News Service in Cardiff before joining DUKC. A spokesperson for PR Week said: “Each year we select 29 of the best, brightest and most inspirational young talent in the PR industry under the age of 29."
In her time with DUKC, Kerry-Lynne has led its media work and awareness campaigns in Wales, generating more than 120 items of coverage in the Welsh media during a single month. She established a successful relationship with Welsh Rugby Union, persuading players to provide quotes of support for campaigns and pose for promotional photographs. To mark World Diabetes Day 2010, she managed to get the Millennium Stadium lit up in blue. Kerry-Lynne, who was nominated by DUKC director Dai Williams, said: "I'm delighted to have been nominated and selected for PR Week's 29 under 29 2011. "More than 160,000 people are now diagnosed with diabetes in Wales and that number is increasing rapidly every year. "It's a pleasure to work for Diabetes UK Cymru to help raise awareness and understanding of the serious lifelong condition in the Welsh media, on the charity's website and social media accounts and beyond." Kerry-Lynne is currently on maternity leave – her post is being covered by Carol Owen.
Wrexham parent networking day hailed a success
A networking day for parents of children with diabetes across North Wales was today hailed a success by Diabetes UK Cymru. The event, which gave the families of young people with Type 1 diabetes the opportunity to meet and swap ideas and learn the latest in diabetes research and management, was jointly hosted by Diabetes UK Cymru and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The event was held in Wrexham, on 12 November.
Pam Evans from Colwyn Bay, whose son Gethin (19) has Type 1 and is now studying Geoscience at Keele University, said she welcomed hearing the latest on research from Dr Rayaz Malik, Professor of Medicine at Manchester University.
Professor Malik reported on the development of a corneal eye test that could indicate the presence of diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) – the most common cause of foot ulcers and amputations, as opposed to using more traditional tests on feet. Researchers have shown that the shape and function of nerve fibres in the cornea can reflect nerve damage in other parts of the body. Due to the transparent nature of the eye, nerves can be viewed directly and non-invasively.
Another speaker who struck a chord was Joe Fraser, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes aged 13 and is the author of ‘Joe’s Rough Guide to Diabetes’. He gave a graphic account of experiencing ketoacidosis for the first time after his university exams.
To find out when the next event is taking place, visit parent network day events page.
Newport Marathon runners brave rain for Diabetes UK Cymru
Over 60 runners, walkers, strollers and amblers braved the rain to take on the first ever Newport marathon for Diabetes UK Cymru.
The money raised will help Diabetes UK Cymru support the one in 20 people now diagnosed with diabetes in Wales, including 7,800 in Newport alone.
The 26.2 mile route took runners past some of Newport’s most iconic landmarks such as Newport Castle, the Fourteen Locks, the Transporter Bridge, the new University, the Riverfront Theatre and along the River Usk.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “We’d like to say a big thank you to each and every person who took part in the Newport Marathon.
“Diabetes is a serious lifelong condition which is increasing in Wales and the money raised by runners will help us to continue to support the 160,000 people diagnosed with diabetes across Wales and their families.
“Diabetes UK is currently paying for research projects totalling more than £960,000 in Wales alone, and the funds raised will also help us to continue to fund vital research into the condition.”
Spooktacular night for Diabetes UK Cymru in Cardiff
Diabetes UK Cymru hosted a spooktacular Halloween Disco Night in Cardiff to raise crucial funds to support people with diabetes across Wales.
The event raised £950 and was attended by 145 people dressed up in spooky fancy dress at Whitchurch Rugby Club, Samuels Crescent, Whitchurch, on Saturday 29 October.
More than 14,500 people in Cardiff alone have been diagnosed with diabetes and that number is increasing every year.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “We would like to thank everyone who attended our Halloween Disco Night to raise crucial funds to help us to support the 160,000 people now diagnosed with diabetes in Wales.”
Avoid flu this winter with your free vaccination
The Welsh Assembly Government has launched its annual seasonal flu campaign and is encouraging people with diabetes to have the free vaccination.
The vaccination is free to everyone with diabetes as people with the condition are in an at risk group for seasonal flu.
Lesley Griffiths, The Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “It is vital that people in the at risk categories make an appointment.
“Each year, the vaccine changes to reflect the viruses that are circulating, so just because you had the injection last year does not necessarily mean you’ll be protected this year.
“You have to be vaccinated again to be protected this winter.”
Cathy Moulton, Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK, said: “People with diabetes are a high-risk group when it comes to getting flu, so it is crucial that they are vaccinated as soon as possible this autumn.
“Having flu can really upset diabetes control and can cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate.
“This can leave people with diabetes open to many health problems, including complications of flu such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
“If you haven’t already been invited for a free flu jab, contact your GP surgery to find out when they are holding clinics.”
Bollywood arrived in Cardiff for Diabetes UK Cymru ball
Diabetes UK Cymru brought a taste of Bollywood to Cardiff to raise crucial funds to support the growing number of people with the condition in Wales.
The charity hosted a fabulous Bollywood Ball at the five-star St David’s Hotel & Spa on Havannah Street, Cardiff Bay, on Saturday 15 October.
Held from 7.30pm to 1am, around 80 guests were treated to a delicious gourmet Indian buffet and celebrated the evening’s theme by wearing optional Bollywood style dress.
During the evening, guests were also entertained with a disco and enjoyed an hour-long Bollywood dance master class.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “Diabetes UK Cymru would like to thank everyone who showed their support for the charity by attending our Bollywood Ball.
“It was a fantastic evening enjoyed by all and raised much-needed funds which will enable us to support and advise the 160,000 people now diagnosed with diabetes in Wales.
“Around 20 people are told they have the serious lifelong condition every day in Wales and the money raised by the ball will also pay for important research into diabetes.”
You can view photographs from the event on Flickr.
46 people ran the Cardiff Half Marathon for Diabetes UK Cymru!
Forty six people affected by diabetes put their running shoes on and took on the Cardiff Half Marathon for health charity Diabetes UK Cymru.
The runners raised crucial funds for the charity by completing the 13.1-mile challenge on Sunday 16 October.
Last year the half marathon runners raised £5,000 to help support people with diabetes in Wales and it is hoped funds raised by the runners will match or even exceed that total this year.
The money raised will help to fund important research into the condition and enable the charity to support the growing number of people with diabetes and their families.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to all of the generous people who did something amazing and ran the Cardiff Half Marathon in aid of Diabetes UK Cymru.
“The money our half marathon runners raised will enable us to continue our work to advise and support the 160,000 people with diabetes in Wales and their families and also raise awareness of the condition.
“In addition, the funds will help the charity to pay for much-needed research into the condition.”
Runners looking for another challenge can sign up for the first Newport Marathon on Sunday 30 October, during which a half marathon course is also available.
Cardiff athlete living with diabetes could carry the Olympic flame!
An athlete and Diabetes UK Cymru volunteer is in the running to carry the flame in the 2012 Olympic torch relay.
Cardiff sprinter Melanie Stephenson was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 13.
In the 10 years following her diagnosis, the 23-year-old has refused to let having the condition interfere with her running career, representing Wales in the 100m and 200m.
Melanie has been put through to the next stage of the Olympic torchbearer nominations after being put forward by Diabetes UK Cymru for her volunteering work.
She said: “Being nominated was a lovely surprise as I never thought volunteering could lead to something like this.
“If I am able to be a torchbearer I would be very grateful as it would help so many more people to be aware of being able to do sport with diabetes.”
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We wanted to nominate Melanie as an Olympic torchbearer to thank her for everything she has done as a Diabetes UK Cymru volunteer.
“She has given up her time to give talks to parents of children with the condition, volunteer at our events and talk to the media to help raise awareness and understanding of Type 1 diabetes.
“Melanie is a fantastic role model who proves that diabetes needn’t stop you achieving in sport and, as a result, we believe she would be a very worthy Olympic torchbearer.”
Melanie will find out if she has been selected as a torchbearer in early December.
Sign up for the Penarth Festive Fun Run
Diabetes UK Cymru is appealing for people to run the Penarth Festive Fun Run this year and raise vital funds.
The family friendly fancy dress run is being held on Sunday 11 December and Diabetes UK Cymru is jointly hosting it with Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Starting at 1.30pm at the Cliff Top playground, runners and walkers will be taken down towards Penarth Pier, along the seafront and back up through Windsor Gardens to complete the 3k (two-mile) course.
This year, due to popular demand, children under 12 are also invited to take part if accompanied by an adult entrant.
The day will also feature entertainment from the RAF St Athan Brass Band, mulled wine and brilliant raffle prizes generously donated by local businesses.
Last year, the event raised £6,000, with around 200 people taking part.
Runners are asked to wear optional festive fancy dress, whether it is a Santa suit, Christmas tree outfit or simply a sprig of holly.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “It is a fantastic event for all the family which will raise much-needed funds”
“Money our fun runners raise will enable us to provide advice, information and support to the 160,000 people living with diabetes in Wales and pay for crucial research into the condition.”
You can register for the run online.
Bag up your support for Diabetes UK Cymru
Diabetes UK Cymru is appealing for local businesses to donate funds from the new carrier bag levy in Wales to the charity to help support people with diabetes.
Since 1 October, shoppers in Wales have been charged at least 5p for single use bags and businesses are being encouraged to give any profits to good causes.
Diabetes UK Cymru is asking Welsh businesses to donate the funds raised by the levy to the charity to help pay for its work supporting the 160,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in Wales.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We are appealing for businesses across Wales to nominate Diabetes UK Cymru to receive profits raised by the levy.
“Diabetes is increasing rapidly in Wales every year with 20 people on average being diagnosed with the serious lifelong condition every day here.
“Funds donated by businesses will enable us to continue our work providing advice, support and information to the 160,000 people with diabetes in Wales and their loved ones.
“And as Diabetes UK is currently funding research projects totalling more than £960,000 in Wales, the funds will also help to pay for vital research into diabetes.”
For more information on how your business can support Diabetes UK Cymru, please contact us.
Thanks to all who swam a mile for diabetes this September!
Diabetes UK Cymru is thanking people across Wales who swam a mile for diabetes in September to raise money to support those living with the condition.
The charity asked people to take part in its Swim a Mile for Diabetes challenge in September by swimming one mile in their nearest pool.
People of all ages affected by diabetes took part in the challenge raising vital funds to enable the charity to continue to help those living with the condition in Wales.
The challenge was supported by Swansea swimmer and Commonwealth medallist Jazmin Carlin, who won silver and bronze medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We would like to thank everyone who took up the Swim a Mile for Diabetes challenge in September to support Diabetes UK Cymru.
“The money raised by our fantastic swimmers will help us to support the one in 20 people now living with diabetes here by providing advice, support and information.
“Crucially, the money raised will also enable us to fund important research into the condition as Diabetes UK is already funding research projects totalling more than £960,000 in Wales alone.”
Diabetes cases rise again to top 160,000 in Wales
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Wales has increased by 7,000 in the past year pushing the total number to more than 160,000.
New figures announced by Diabetes UK Cymru show more than 7,300 people were told they had the condition in the last year, meaning 160,533 people – one in 20 - are now diagnosed with diabetes in Wales.
And with diabetes cases rising by more than 7,000 for four years in Wales, the figures show more than 29,000 people have been diagnosed with the condition since 2007.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “Once again diabetes cases have risen dramatically in Wales with more than 7,000 people being diagnosed with the serious lifelong condition in the last year alone.
“Shockingly, the figures show more than 29,000 people have been told they have diabetes since 2007 and, if this trend continues, more than 250,000 people will be diagnosed with the condition in Wales by 2024.
“Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2, a condition which is often, although not always, linked to being overweight and having a large waist.
“Diabetes UK Cymru would like to see more action taken to alert people to the dangers of leading unhealthy lives and to highlight how a healthy, active lifestyle and eating a balanced diet can reduce people’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.”
30 people swam a mile in Llyn Tegid for Diabetes UK Cymru
Around 30 people donned their wetsuits and swam a mile in Llyn Tegid to raise funds for Diabetes UK Cymru.
The swimmers took part in the charity’s second one-mile swim in Llyn Tegid, Bala, on Sunday 25 September to raise crucial funds to support people with diabetes in Wales.
Starting at 10am, the swimmers contended with choppy waters for the swim in the stunning setting of Snowdonia National Park.
The day also featured a tombola and hog roast for everyone who took part and spectators.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “Diabetes UK Cymru would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took on the challenge of our second one-mile swim in Llyn Tegid.
“It was a fantastic event and raised vital funds which will enable us to give information, support and advice to the 153,000 people now diagnosed with diabetes in Wales and their families too.
“The money raised will also help the charity to pay for important research into the condition as Diabetes UK is currently funding research projects totalling more than £960,000 in Wales alone.”
You can view photographs from the swim on Flickr.
1,000 visited Diabetes UK Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow at Abergavenny Food Festival
Around 1,000 people visited Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow at Abergavenny Food Festival.
They visited the roadshow at Castle Street car park on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September to find out more about diabetes and to enjoy live dance, zumba and healthy cooking demonstrations.
The roadshow also helped 60 people to discover whether they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years after they had free Type 2 diabetes risk assessments.
Those found to be at moderate or high risk were referred to their GP for further advice or tests.
Following the roadshow’s successful visit in 2010, this year’s featured live entertainment from Belly Dancing Abergavenny, Monmouthshire’s Dance Blast, India Dance Wales, Olivia Sweeney’s zumba fitness classes and Newport City Radio’s DJ Shai (Ali Boksh).
People could also get advice on healthy eating from dietitian Clare Davies and enjoy live healthy cooking demonstrations from chefs Jon Wellington and Steve Bennett.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “I am pleased that the Diabetes UK Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow was able to help people find out if they were at risk of Type 2 diabetes and highlight how leading an active lifestyle and having a healthy weight can reduce people’s risk of developing the condition.”
You can view photographs from the roadshow on Flickr.
17,500 visit Welsh pharmacies for Type 2 diabetes assessments
More than 17,500 people in Wales visited their local pharmacy in June to discover if they were at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
For a fortnight from Monday 13 June, every Welsh pharmacy offered free risk assessments to identify people at risk of developing the condition in the next 10 years.
Of those assessed, 1,478 people – 8.4 per cent - were identified as high risk and referred to their GP for a diabetes test.
Pharmacists also advised participants about how they could reduce their risk by eating a healthy, balanced diet and leading an active lifestyle.
The campaign was organised by Diabetes UK Cymru and Community Pharmacy Wales and was launched by Health Minister Lesley Griffiths, who had a risk assessment herself.
It was one of up to six public health campaigns required of community pharmacists by the seven Health Boards as part of their contract and was also supported by BMA Cymru, Public Health Wales, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We would like to thank Community Pharmacy Wales, the Health Boards, pharmacists and pharmacy staff, and everyone else involved in organising and delivering this campaign for their hard work.
“The campaign identified people at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and, crucially, also informed people about how they can reduce their risk by eating a healthy, balanced diet and leading an active lifestyle.”
Russell Goodway, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Wales, said: “This joint campaign was a classic illustration of the key role that the 708 high street pharmacies in Wales can play in public health.”
70 runners took on the Cardiff 10K for Diabetes UK Cymru!
Around 70 people put their running shoes on and took on the Cardiff 10K for Diabetes UK Cymru.
Runners from across South Wales put their trainers on and completed the run on Sunday 11 September to raise crucial funds for the charity.
It was the second year Diabetes UK Cymru had places in the run.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “Diabetes UK Cymru would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who ran the Cardiff 10K in aid of the charity this year.
“Money the runners have raised will enable us to give advice, information and support to the 153,000 people now diagnosed with diabetes in Wales and, crucially, pay for vital research into diabetes.
“Each and every one of our Cardiff 10K runners did something amazing to support the growing number of people living with the serious lifelong condition in Wales.”
Diabetes UK Cymru is now appealing for people to run the first ever Newport Marathon on Sunday 30 October to raise funds for the charity.
A half marathon course is also available for people who would prefer to run a shorter route.
You can view our Cardiff 10K photograph album on Flickr.
27,000 people with diabetes in Wales at risk of blindness
More than 27,000 people with diabetes in Wales are at increased risk of blindness because they have not received retinal screening, an essential annual check which tests for eye disease diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes UK Cymru warns that blindness is just one complication that people with diabetes in Wales could be at risk of because they are missing out on a wide range of health checks and specialist services.
Retinal screening is one of a checklist of 15 measures to help people with diabetes understand what services they should get to help them manage their condition.
Figures from the National Diabetes Audit show that people with diabetes in Wales are also not receiving other essential annual checks.
Nearly a quarter (23.77 per cent) have not received a check for diabetic kidney disease (nephropathy) and one in six (16.85 per cent) have not had a foot check.
Diabetes UK is calling on people with diabetes to let them know about the gaps in care where they live by filling in an online survey.
Barbara Young, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said: “The 15 measures will help ensure people with diabetes are getting the care they need, and if they’re not, Diabetes UK wants people to use the checklist and ask for the standards of care that have been recommended by expert bodies and patients across the UK.
“With the right care and education, there is no reason why people with diabetes shouldn’t live long and healthy lives.”
Diabetes UK Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow coming to Abergavenny
Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow will visit Abergavenny Food Festival this summer to help people to discover whether they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The roadshow will be based at Castle Street car park during the festival on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September.
Following its successful visit in 2010, the roadshow will offer free Type 2 diabetes risk assessment tests, which predict a person’s risk of developing the condition in the next 10 years.
If this risk is moderate to high, people will be referred to their GP for further advice or tests.
The roadshow will also feature live entertainment from Monmouthshire’s Dance Blast, Olivia Sweeney’s zumba fitness classes and Newport City Radio’s DJ Shai (Ali Boksh).
And people visiting the roadshow can enjoy healthy cooking demonstrations from chef Marva Lord, who runs Marva’s Kitchen in the Brecon Beacons.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Abergavenny Food Festival with our Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow.
“People can visit for a Type 2 diabetes risk assessment test, to enjoy healthy cooking demonstrations and live entertainment and to find out more about diabetes.”
Anyone unable to visit the roadshow can take Diabetes UK’s Diabetes Risk Score test online.
Rugby fans raise £1,200 for Diabetes UK Cymru at Wales vs Argentina match
Rugby fans raised crucial funds for Diabetes UK Cymru ahead of Wales’s winning match against Argentina.
Kind-hearted fans helped to raise £1,209 during a bucket collection around Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday 20 August before Wales beat Argentina in the squad’s final summer match ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
Volunteers were stationed around the stadium’s walkways to ask for contributions to Diabetes UK Cymru.
In addition to the collection, Wales players Dan Lydiate (Dragons), Jamie Roberts and Lloyd Williams (Blues) all showed their support by posing in Diabetes UK T-shirts.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to the Welsh Rugby Union, the players, the fans who donated, and our volunteers for playing their part in supporting people with diabetes across Wales.
“Diabetes is a serious lifelong condition affecting 153,000 people in Wales and the money raised will enable us to help people living with diabetes and continue to pay for vital research into the condition.”
Last November, Diabetes UK Cymru worked with the Welsh Rugby Union to light the stadium in blue to mark World Diabetes Day.
Before the collection, Millennium Stadium General Manager Gerry Toms commented: “It is always a pleasure to share our stadium with local charities and community groups and I’m thrilled to welcome Diabetes UK Cymru back to the venue for Wales v Argentina on Saturday.”
Bollywood coming to Cardiff for Diabetes UK Cymru ball
Diabetes UK Cymru is bringing a taste of Bollywood to Cardiff to raise vital funds to support people with diabetes across Wales.
The charity is hosting a Bollywood Ball at St David’s Hotel & Spa, Cardiff Bay, on Saturday 15 October.
Held from 7.30pm to 1am, guests will be treated to a gourmet Indian buffet and can make the most of the Bollywood theme by wearing optional Bollywood style dress.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We’re appealing for people to join us for our Bollywood Ball to help to raise vital funds to support the 153,000 people living with diabetes in Wales.
“It’s the chance to have a fantastic night out while raising funds which will enable us to pay for crucial research and continue to give advice and information to people with diabetes and their families.”
Tickets costs £40 per person, or £35 per person when buying tickets for a table of 10.
To buy tickets, or for more information about the event, please contact us.
Run the first Newport Marathon for Diabetes UK Cymru
Diabetes UK Cymru is looking for people to do something amazing and put their trainers on for the first Newport Marathon to raise vital funds.
It is a nominated charity for the marathon, which will start at High Street, Newport, Gwent, at 9am on Sunday 30 October.
The 26.2-mile challenge will take runners past some of Newport’s most iconic landmarks such as the Transporter Bridge and the River Usk.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We’re delighted to be one of the Newport Marathon’s nominated charities and would like to appeal for people to take on the challenge in aid of Diabetes UK Cymru.
“Money raised by our Newport Marathon runners will enable us to continue to support the 153,000 people diagnosed with diabetes across Wales and their families and pay for crucial research into the condition.”
Runners looking for other ways to run for the charity can sign up for the Cardiff 10K on Sunday 11 September or the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday 16 October.
To register for any of these events, please contact us.
Swim a Mile for Diabetes this September!
Diabetes UK Cymru is asking people to take a dip in their local swimming pool in September to raise vital funds.
The health charity is asking people to sign up for its Swim a Mile for Diabetes challenge and do a one-mile sponsored swim in their local swimming pool during September.
The challenge is being supported by Swansea swimmer Jazmin Carlin, who won silver and bronze medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
She said: “With a growing number of people now living with diabetes in Wales, I am appealing for people to show their support for those living with the condition by taking part in Swim a Mile for Diabetes.
“Your support will raise vital funds to enable Diabetes UK Cymru to provide advice, support and information to the one in 20 people now living with diabetes in Wales.”
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “More than 153,000 people in Wales are now diagnosed with the serious lifelong condition and money raised by our swimmers will enable us to support them and their families.
“As Diabetes UK is also funding research projects totalling more than £960,000 in Wales, money raised by Swim a Mile for Diabetes will also help the charity to pay for vital research into the condition.”
People who would prefer to swim a mile in open water can take part in the charity’s Llyn Tegid Swim on Sunday 25 September.
For more information, or to register, please contact us.
280 people walked the extra mile for Diabetes UK Cymru
Around 280 people across Wales took part in Diabetes UK Cymru’s annual Walk the extra mile events this summer.
The 280 walkers put their best feet forward in June and July to complete one of Diabetes UK Cymru’s four Walk the extra mile events throughout Wales.
This year, walkers took on routes of between two and six miles in Cardiff, Llandudno, Llys-y-Fran and Swansea.
Money raised by the walkers will help Diabetes UK Cymru to fund vital research into the condition and to continue to support people living with diabetes throughout Wales.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who completed one of our Walk the extra mile events this summer.
“We would also like to thank the volunteers who helped us on the days of the walks.
“All four walks were a huge success and raised much-needed funds which will enable us to provide support, advice and information to people with diabetes and their families and pay for research into the condition.”
You can view a selection of photographs from the walks on Flickr.
Train up and tackle the Cardiff 10K for Diabetes UK Cymru!
Diabetes UK Cymru is urging people across Wales to challenge themselves to the Cardiff 10K this year to raise vital funds.
This year, for the second time, the charity has 100 places in the Cardiff 10K, which takes place on Sunday 11 September.
Runners will be taken on a flat route through Cardiff city centre, past Cardiff Castle and through Sophia Gardens.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We’re appealing for people to take on the Cardiff 10K to show their support for the one in 20 people now diagnosed with diabetes in Wales.
“The money our 10K runners raise will help us to continue to provide advice, support and information to people affected by diabetes across Wales and also fund much-needed research into the condition.”
You can register for the Cardiff 10K online.
Diabetes UK Cymru’s runners will receive free training guides, a runner’s vest and sponsorship forms.
Those looking for an extra challenge can also sign up to run the Cardiff Half Marathon in aid of the charity.
Diabetes UK Cymru fundraiser becomes Institute of Fundraising trustee
Diabetes UK Cymru’s fundraising manager has been named a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising.
Joseph Cuff, the charity’s National Fundraising Manager for 10 years, was one of five new trustees named by the institute on Wednesday 6 July.
The Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for UK fundraising.
Its mission is to support fundraisers through leadership, representation, standards-setting and education, and it champions and promotes fundraising as a career choice.
Mr Cuff has been a member of the institute for 10 years and a member of the Wales committee for eight years.
He said: “I am very pleased to take up the role of trustee at the Institute of Fundraising.
“I hope this role will enable me to help and share my experiences with other fundraisers in and outside of Wales.”
Trustees are elected by members of the institute and meet six times a year.
Bruce Leeke, Acting Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said: “Welcome to all our new trustees.
“With the expertise of these committed individuals at the helm of the IoF, we will be able to continue pressing forward for the changes that really matter for fundraisers over the next year.”
Parent network day success in North and South Wales
More than 80 parents of children with diabetes attended Diabetes UK Cymru’s free network days in North and South Wales.
Around 50 parents attended Diabetes UK Cymru and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Joint Parent Network Day in Swansea University on Saturday 25 June.
Speakers during the day included Prof Susan Wong, Professor of Diabetes and Metabolism and Honorary Consultant Physician in Medicine at Cardiff University, Clinical Psychologist Dr Helen Griffiths and athlete Melanie Stephenson, who has Type 1 diabetes.
A further 30 parents attended Diabetes UK Cymru’s Parent Network Day at Colwyn Leisure Centre, Colwyn Bay, which was held on Saturday 2 July.
On that day, speakers included Cardiff University lecturer and paediatric diabetes specialist nurse Dr Lesley Lowes, the University of Chester’s Prof Helen Cooper, and Leeds Metropolitan University’s Liz Webster.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to the speakers and the parents who supported both days.
“The days were a vital opportunity for parents to learn more about the latest research and approaches to managing Type 1 diabetes and also to meet up and share their experiences.”
The charity is planning two further network days in November, details of which will be available later this year.
AMs asked to talk diabetes to mark Diabetes Week
Diabetes UK Cymru asked AMs to talk diabetes at an event at the Welsh Assembly to mark Diabetes Week.
20 AMs attended the event to mark the week at the Welsh Assembly’s Ty Hywel Building on Tuesday 14 June and talked to the charity’s volunteers about their experiences of living with the condition in Wales.
The event was inspired by the theme of Diabetes Week 2011, held from 12 to 18 June, which is ‘let’s talk diabetes’.
Held from 12.30pm to 2pm, the event enabled AMs to learn more about the issues facing people living with the condition.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We were delighted to be marking Diabetes Week in the Welsh Assembly and we would like to thank the 20 AMs and our volunteers for attending.
“Diabetes is rapidly rising in Wales and as more and more people are diagnosed with the condition it’s vitally important that AMs meet those with the condition and discover the range of issues that face them.”
View photographs of the event on Flickr.
Health Minister launches diabetes risk assessment campaign in Welsh pharmacies
The Welsh Health Minister has launched the first community pharmacy public health campaign which sees pharmacies offer free diabetes risk assessments for a fortnight.
On Monday 13 June Health Minister Lesley Griffiths AM launched the campaign, which sees every Welsh pharmacy offering simple paper-based assessments to identify people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
The campaign, solely happening in Wales, has been organised by Diabetes UK Cymru and Community Pharmacy Wales.
It is one of up to six public health campaigns required of community pharmacists by the seven Health Boards as part of their contract and is also being supported by Public Health Wales, BMA Cymru, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: "I am very pleased to launch this first all Wales public health campaign through community pharmacies.
“Diabetes UK Cymru estimates there could be 66,000 people in Wales with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
“I encourage people to go to their local community pharmacy to receive a risk assessment and, if appropriate, obtain advice on how to reduce their risk.”