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Diabetes UK is 75 years old!

75 years ago today, on 10 January 1934, leading health charity Diabetes UK was formed.

It was co-founded by the novelist HG Wells – who most famously wrote 'The Time Machine' and 'The War of the Worlds' - and Dr RD Lawrence, both of whom had diabetes.

The charity’s aim was to ensure that everyone in the UK could gain access to insulin, whatever their financial situation.


This was a ground-breaking initiative prior to the existence of a national health service. The organisation (previously called the Diabetic Association and then the British Diabetic Association) has always challenged ideas of how people with diabetes should be treated, and from the start believed in support to enable active self-management of the condition.

The organisation actively campaigned for the establishment of the NHS and its underlying principles of partnership working proactive control and lobbying continue to this day.

Improving the health of the nation

"75 years ago today, Diabetes UK was created – and although we have worked tirelessly to improve the health of the nation, diabetes remains one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

Raising awareness; providing information and support

"With the help of our many supporters we will continue to raise awareness of diabetes and its complications and provide information and support for healthcare professionals, researchers and people with diabetes.

Our mission

"Diabetes UK's mission is to improve the lives of people with diabetes and work towards a world without diabetes. This year we are committed to spend around £8 million funding a variety of research projects."

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