What is Type 2 Together?
Diabetes UK’s Type 2 Together service is a new volunteer-led approach to learning more about living with diabetes from people who understand what it’s like to live with the condition. We offer people a chance to meet others with Type 2 diabetes in their local area, to share experiences and practical tips to live well with diabetes. We are developing a network of groups for people with Type 2 diabetes to support each other in relaxed and informal sessions, facilitated by a trained volunteer who has diabetes themselves.
Why isn't Type 2 Together in my area?
This is a pilot project and we are trialling it with six NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in England - shown above. We will be working in these areas until the end of 2015. If our work is successful we hope to be in a position to set up groups in other areas too. So hopefully in the future there will be a Type 2 Together group nearby to everybody. The NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are helping to fund the project, therefore at this stage the service is only available to people living in our partner areas.
If you would like to get support from somebody else living with diabetes, Diabetes UK provides a Peer Support service which is available to all people with diabetes in the UK. This service allows you to speak to somebody with diabetes via phone, email or chat online.
Do I have to be a member of Diabetes UK to attend a group?
No, you do not need to be a member of Diabetes UK. The Type 2 Together service is completely free and is available for anyone with Type 2 diabetes who live in the areas that we are currently working in.
What’s the difference between Type 2 Together and DUK’s existing local support groups?
The Type 2 Together groups fulfil a different role to the existing Diabetes UK Local Groups in a number of ways:
- Diabetes UK Local Groups often get involved in activities such as fundraising, campaigning to improve local diabetes services and running awareness-raising activities. The Type 2 Together groups will meet as peer groups to share experiences with each other.
- Type 2 Together Peer Support Facilitators are supported by a part-time Diabetes Specialist Nurse working specifically for Diabetes UK on the project. The DSN supports our volunteers in their roles in the groups.
- Local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups have all contributed funding to Type 2 Together to make it work - this commitment is key for Diabetes UK to get the appropriate clinical support, as well as help us to reach people with diabetes that we aren't currently.
- Type 2 Together groups provide an informal education aspect. Meetings will follow a theme relating to Type 2 Diabetes, supported by a factsheet (which have been developed by experienced Diabetes Specialists) and a Health Professional to offer clinical advice.
Members of Type 2 Together groups are often also members of Diabetes UK local groups. Find your nearest Diabetes UK local group by postcode.
What does being a volunteer Peer Support Faciliator (PSF) involve?
As a Peer Support Facilitator (PSF), you organise a local group and the meetings. We'd expect you to commit around four hours a month to the role. Your group will be local to you and the meeting held at a time convenient for you.
It's important that you're living with Type 2 diabetes yourself and keen to help others with the condition to live well. However, you don’t need to be an expert as we provide all the training you need to help get you ready for the role. You also get a ‘buddy’, another volunteer who will work with you on the group who will share the organisation and facilitation. And there’ll be a Diabetes Specialist Nurse who will work closely with you and support you.
Take a look at our PSF role description (Word, 70KB) for more information on what the role and personal qualities required.
If I show an interest in being a volunteer, what happens if I decide later that it’s not for me?
That’s absolutely fine. Expressing an interest in being involved doesn't mean you're obliged to be a volunteer. If you would prefer to know more information before you commit, then get in touch with us and we’d happily tell you more about the role. If you then decide you would rather not be a volunteer, you can still attend a group as a member. Of course you are more than welcome to come along to one of our existing group meetings to see what they are all about before deciding about becoming a peer support facilitator.
Type 2 Together is supported by the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, funded by the Cabinet Office and run by Nesta. The Fund supports the growth of innovations that mobilise people's energy and talents to help each other, working alongside public services.
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