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Diabetes UK 2007 activity highlights

It’s been a busy year at Diabetes UK. Highlights of our activities have included our Annual Professional Conference (APC), and exciting new corporate partnerships.

We have also run the Measure Up awareness campaign, and undertaken groundbreaking research.

And we have been part of an innovative new care project and the World Diabetes Day celebrations.

APC 2007

The Diabetes UK APC 2007 saw over 3,000 healthcare professionals gather in Glasgow to learn about the latest developments in the world of diabetes. Top stories that grabbed the national media’s attention included the rise in Type 1 diabetes in under-fives and the increased risk of heart disease faced by under-40s with Type 2 diabetes. The APC returns to Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition and conference Centre from 5 to 7 March 2008.

Corporate partnerships

As one of the UK’s leading health charities, Diabetes UK is privileged to work with big corporate names to heighten awareness of diabetes and raise vital funds to help people living with the condition. We are the 2007 Charity of the Year for both United Co-operatives and Specsavers Opticians.

“We would like to say a big thank you to all our partners for their hard work and generosity,” said Penny Mordaunt, Director of Partnerships at Diabetes UK.

Awareness campaign

The Measure Up campaign kicked off in August with 21 roadshows and a national advertising initiative raising awareness that there are up to 750,000 people in the UK who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know it.

A large waist is a risk factor of Type 2 diabetes and 50 per cent of people with the condition already show signs of complications when diagnosed. This is why early diagnosis is vital to get diabetes under control and protect long-term health. During Measure Up 2007, over 6,700 at-risk people were tested for Type 2 diabetes and 20,000 information packs were given out across the country.

Diabetes UK research

It has been an exciting year for Diabetes UK research, with the discovery of the FTO obesity gene opening the door to more Type 2 diabetes research, and a link between vitamin B1 deficiency and diabetic complications being announced.

“We funded £6.5 million of research in 2007 and plan to spend even more next year to improve the quality of life of people living with diabetes," said Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK.

"Our ultimate aim is to one day find a cure for the condition.”

Diabetes Year of Care

People with diabetes will get more say in how their condition is managed thanks to a new pilot project launched in September. The Diabetes Year of Care, backed by Diabetes UK, the Department of Health and the National Diabetes Support Team, is about people with diabetes taking charge of their condition and working in partnership with healthcare professionals to plan their care.

Year of Care describes all the planned care that a person with diabetes should expect to receive, usually over the course of a year. This is one of our most exciting projects and we look forward to taking it forward next year.

World Diabetes Day

Last but not least was the first United Nations-observed World Diabetes Day, on 14 November. Diabetes UK went all out to back the initiative by launching its Living with diabetes at school campaign, releasing new figures about the Type 2 diabetes timebomb, sending a young supporter to Strasbourg to meet members of the European Parliament, and lighting various landmarks blue across the UK. We hope this event will grow in profile year on year.

We look forward to achieving even more for people with diabetes through our activities in 2008.

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