Diabetes Voices is our network volunteer campaigners committed to winning quality diabetes care locally and nationally.
Whether distributing leaflets or campaigning for a new diabetes care centre, Diabetes Voices have make a huge difference in winning better care for people living with diabetes. Join the Diabetes Voices network to find out how you can get involved in campaigning on diabetes.
If you'd like some inspiration, just read through what some of our amazing campaigners have been doing. Want to share your story or start your own campaign? Emaildiabetesvoices@diabetes.org.uk: our campaign specialists would love to hear from you.
Securing a new diabetes centre in her community
Clare Allom spent years campaigning for a diabetes 'One-Stop Shop,' where people living with diabetes could get all their tests under one roof. Clare worked tirelessly with local group members, MPs, the media and the NHS to make this happen.
There are now three 'One-Stop Shops' in the area, helping people stay healthy. Clare recently won a Diabetes UK Inspire Award for her amazing efforts.
Campaigning on insulin pumps at airport security
Having travelled with Type 1 diabetes for years, Bekki was disappionted to face problems passing through airport security with her new insulin pump.
Wanting to make sure others didn't face similar problems, Bekki contacted her MP and recieved positive replies from government ministers, airport chiefs and other high profile supporters. She is now backing a petition on the Change.org website calling for a standard policy for insulin pumps at airport security.
Standing up for diabetes education in her area
Despite being a former diabetes nurse, when Christine was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes she realised there was a lot to learn about living with the condition day-to-day.
That's why when she learned diabetes education courses in her area were at risk due to funding cuts, she stepped up.
Writing to MPs and health care leaders
When Mark spots issues with his own diabetes care, he writes to local decision makers, such as MPs and the people in charge of his local NHS. As a Diabetes Voice he gets regular updates on diabetes issues in his area.
"I know that there are likely thousands of other people living with diabetes around here facing the same issues. It's not fair someone living with diabetes here as at greater risk than elsewhere in the country."
Making diabetes a priority nationally and locally
"I felt strongly that not enough was being done to ensure diabetes was taken seriously," explains Ruth on getting involved in Diabetes Voices.
Ruth has taken matters into her on hands, working for two decades to make sure that diabetes was a priority in her area and across the country. She's done everything from speak in Parliament to setting up a Diabetes UK local group in Enfield.
Making sure everyone gets the diabetes care they need
When Dolly was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after a stroke in 2002, she admits it took her a while to adjust. But now she is a leading figure in Slough healthcare, helping people with all types of diabetes get their 15 Healthcare Essentials.
Dolly has promoted this Diabetes UK campaign and others through her work with Slough Diabetes Support Group and Healthwatch Slough.
Improving care through his Patient Participation Group
As a member of his local GP's Patient Participation Group (PPG), Bruce realised that small changes could have a big impact for people living with diabetes in his area.
By allowing people to view their own medical history online, Bruce found local people with diabetes, himself included, could manage their condition better. Not only did it help people feel more confident, they could get more involved in their own care.
Bruce admits that some GPs were at first "uneasy." After a few years' determined campaigning, the system is now up and running, and making things better for people living with diabetes.
Big Lobby speaker
On 15 May, Elaine Clark, Diabetes Voice from Barking & Dagenham, attended Diabetes UK’s Big Lobby. Here she shares her thoughts about the day and explains how she got involved.
Campaigning for 15 healthcare essentials
David Edwards is a member of the Sutton and Merton Diabetes Network and is one of our amazing Diabetes Voices. He has campaigned tirelessly for everyone with diabetes to receive their 15 healthcare essentials, influencing retinal screening clinics in the area to hand out checklists to all patients attending their appointments.
Campaigning for change
Sheila has been actively helping influence the care of people living with diabetes in Bexley, South East London for many years. As a service champion, she attends meetings with the local NHS to help people get the care and support they are entitled to. In June 2014, Sheila was awarded an MBE for services to people with diabetes and their carers.
Politics in action
"I was invited to a Diabetes Question Time at the House of Commons in May 2011 by my local Volunteer Development Officer. She said I was a good voice for diabetes because of the voluntary work I had been doing with Diabetes UK, including setting up a support group for people with Type 1 diabetes, and my involvement in the launch of the ThinkGlucose project at my local hospital trust."
NHS Service User Representative
Neil became an NHS Service User Representative when he realised he was using a variety of NHS services and wanted to act as an advocate for diabetes service provision. He regularly raises important issues with the NHS, such as access to emotional and psychological therapy for people with diabetes. He has also given feedback on NHS leaflets to help make them more user-friendly for patients.
On 25 March, Diabetes Voice Roy Johnson spoke to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes (APPGD) about his personal experience of amputation.
Terry, a Service Champion and Diabetes Voice from Rotherham, shares his own experience of being involved with his local NHS.
Diabetes personal care charter
"I’ve lived with Type 1 diabetes since 1974. I’ve always been passionate about education for people with diabetes, so when I heard that a new Diabetes Service User Group was being set up in Hammersmith & Fulham, I jumped at the chance to get involved."
Championing the patient perspective
"I first became involved with the NHS in 1954, when I was asked to use my former professional skills as a journalist and PR executive with the Mansfield and Sutton League of Hospital Friends, of which I am now an honorary life member."