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Help Diabetes UK spread the word

With Volunteers' Week 2010 highlighting the crucial role that volunteers play in the work of Diabetes UK, we are looking for more media volunteers to help us raise awareness of diabetes.

A media volunteer is someone who is willing to be interviewed by a journalist. When there is a diabetes news story in the papers or on TV or radio, the story often includes an interview with a person with diabetes. The media likes to have a 'human face' to add to the story, somebody who the audience can relate to.

Making research relevant

For example, if there is a news story about a research breakthrough, a media volunteer can show what relevance the research may offer to people with diabetes, instead of the story just being about scientific facts and figures.

Please get in touch

If you are interested, please contact the Media Relations team on 020 7424 1165 or emailpress@diabetes.org.uk. We are particularly looking for people with diabetes from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds as these communities are often underrepresented in the media.

What to expect

Journalists often contact the Media Relations team at Diabetes UK requesting a media volunteer. However, it is very difficult to specify how often a media volunteer would be needed as requests from journalists vary from time to time.

Some of our current media volunteers may be contacted by the Media Relations team up to several times a years. Another aspect to bear in mind is that the media sometimes requests interviews at short notice, maybe at a few hours'. This is particularly the case for TV. It is also hard to advise how long an interview will last.

Your experience of diabetes

As a rough guide, an interview for a newspaper or a magazine (which is usually done over the phone) lasts between five and 20 minutes. A live interview for radio or TV rarely goes on for more than three minutes. A pre-recorded interview for radio may be a few minutes longer, while a pre-recorded TV interview lasts around 30 minutes.

In your own words

The interview will not be about clinical or medical knowledge. It's about your experience of living with diabetes.

Recent examples

Some recent examples where media volunteers have helped us to raise awareness include:

– BBC South West. Helen Birchall, whose five-year-old daughter Becky has Type 1 diabetes, was interviewed about her experience trying to get suitable care for Becky at school. You canread the online article on the BBC website, orview the story as it was featured on the Spotlight news programme. Helen was interviewed in response to the release of our 'State of diabetes care in the UK 2009' report.

– in Daily Echo (Bournemouth). Charlotte Bulpitt has challenged herself to a 10,000ft parachute jump to raise money for Diabetes UK. Here she tells her story. You canread the online article on the Daily Echo website.

Diabetes UK on YouTube

VisitDiabetes UK's YouTube channelfor other video clips of our media coverage, and other short films and animations about diabetes and Diabetes UK.

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