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Diabetes UK boss will walk coast-to-coast to help children with diabetes

Diabetes UK's Chief Executive, Douglas Smallwood, is taking on the challenge of the 192-mile Coast To Coast walk with his son Jimmy to raise funds to help children with diabetes.

There are more than 20,000 children with Type 1 diabetes in the UK, and two thousand are diagnosed every year.

Diabetes UK runs special Care Events which involve sporting activities and advice to help children understand how to manage the condition.However, children using insulin pumps are not always able to attend the care events because of a lack of nurses trained in pump therapy. Insulin pumps can enable children to have more control over their condition and Diabetes UK campaigns to make pump therapy available for all children who need it.

Father and son challenge


Douglas and Jimmy hope to raise more than £5,000 to send 15 nurses on an insulin pump training course so that more children can attend the care events. The father and son team will be walking 192 miles from St Bees Head in the Lake District to Robin Hood’s Bay on the East Coast.

They began their journey on Friday 28 May, and hope to complete the challenge on Thursday 10 June.

“20,000 children in the UK have diabetes,"

said Douglas. "For children with diabetes, attending the Diabetes UK Care Events can be life-changing, so it’s been a shame not all children have been able to take part because there aren’t enough trained nurses who know about insulin pumps.

"Hopefully that will improve when I raise more than £5,000 to pay for the training of 15 new nurses in insulin pump therapy. It will be a real challenge to do the Coast to Coast Walk but it’s for a very worthy cause.”

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