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Stormont hosts Christmas concert for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland

Ballyclare woman and renowned harpist Susan Grace Bates will be putting on a Christmas Musical Evening at Stormont on Friday 14 December with students from the Susan Grace Bates School of Music. The music teacher has decided to donate all the proceeds to Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, because her brother has Type 1 diabetes and she wants to raise vital funds for a local charity close to her heart.

Susan explains, ‘My brother has been living with Type 1 diabetes for most of his life and the reality is that this condition has played a massive part in all of our lives as a family. Diabetes doesn’t just impact the individual, it impacts all the people around that individual as well. Diabetes never ends so as a family we have always done what we can to help raise awareness and funds. We enjoy looking for new ways to contribute further.

‘I am in awe at the changes in diabetes management over the years and we know that a lot of it is down to the really important research that Diabetes UK fund.' - Susan Grace Bates

‘We have been fundraising for many years and are proud to have supported local diabetes research here in Northern Ireland. This event on Friday 14 December is our latest way to show our support to the work of Diabetes UK in Northern Ireland.’

Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time. People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and about 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses, taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.

People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.

Diabetes UK Northern Ireland Regional Fundraiser, Naomi Breen, said, ‘There are over 100,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland and this number continues to rise every year. Events like this help to raise awareness and funds for the diabetes community in Northern Ireland so we hope that you will come along for a fantastic night of festivities.’

To purchase your tickets (£10) please contact Margaret on 078 8099 2423 for the Christmas Musical Evening with the Susan Grace Bates School of Music, Friday 14 December, 7.30pm at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

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