Diabetes UK works to transform the lives of thousands of people affected by diabetes every single day. But we cannot do this alone, without our incredible supporters on the ground - supporters such as the networks of healthcare professionals we work with, local community groups and volunteers all over the country.
When Simon's daughter was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, his local group was a great place to find mutual support from other families going through the same highs and lows that diabetes brings. The support he got from the group inspired him to get involved and use his professional skills in IT and project management to help. In 2015 he became Chair of the Diabetes UK Tunbridge Wells Area Parents Support Group.
Helping another family who are going through what we did is one of the most rewarding things to come from what we initially saw as only a negative event.
Simon, Chair of Diabetes UK Tunbridge Wells Area Parents Support Group
Our Diabetes UK Professional Conference was a major success, attracting over 3,300 attendees, including Diabetes Specialist Nurses, dieticians, GPs and diabetologists It's the largest diabetes conference in the UK and we won the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (APBCO) Excellence Award for Best In-House Conference Organiser.
Thanks to Enjoy Food, cooking for people with diabetes is easier than ever. We saw almost 3 million visits to the website, where people were able to find over 300 different, healthy, tasty recipes.
We've invested in building relationships with local community and faith groups, Clinical Commissioning Groups and authorities. Thanks to these connections, we've been at 3,000 events (including targeted roadshows) this year.
On World Diabetes Day 2015, we launched Taking Control: a campaign that makes sure everyone is given the chance to learn about their diabetes so they can manage it with confidence.
The investment of time and skills from our continually growing team of volunteers meant that in 2015, we were able to establish 36 new local groups across the UK, bringing our total to 321.
We're reaching more people with diabetes with our information prescriptions – a personalised sheet that allows patients to work with their healthcare professional to set goals and make a plan for their health in a way that is easy to understand. Over 13,000 patients then came to our website where they have had access to information about improving their diet, getting more active and understanding their condition.
We will ramp up our Enjoy Food programme with a specific focus on people with Type 1 diabetes, offering them even more resources as well as creating tailored content.
We will maintain the growth of local and community volunteer groups as well as developing more individual volunteering opportunities. It is our goal that every major community, and every family with Type 1 diabetes has access to a group.
We aim to reach 20 per cent more people with diabetes through clinicians by increasing education of - and engagement with - healthcare professionals.
2016 will see the launch of our 100 things campaign. Made possible by our partnership with Tesco, '100 things I wish I'd known about living with diabetes' is a collection of the most useful tips for people living with diabetes, written by people living with diabetes.
Saad was a student at De Montfort University in Leicester. He is also a Diabetes UK Community Champion; one of a growing army of individuals we have trained who are dedicated to raising awareness of diabetes in local Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
"I realised how little it was talked about and how much of a growing problem it is. But most of all, I have learnt just how much difference it makes to go out there and raise awareness."