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Northern Ireland celebrates Diabetes Week

Diabetes week graphic

Northern Ireland Diabetes Week: You're so much more than your numbers

Morning blood sugar, pre-meal blood sugar, counting carbs. HbA1c, blood pressure, how many carbs were in that sandwich again? Diabetes can feel like a never-ending stream of numbers. And some days, they just don’t add up. This year, Northern Ireland is celebrating Diabetes Week by reminding you that you're more than just a number.

Diabetes doesn't stop, but neither do people living with diabetes. They juggle the ups and downs, they face diabetes head-on every morning (whatever their blood sugar!) and they don’t let it hold them back.

This week we're shining a light on their experiences and some exciting events, as well as sharing more helpful resources to support people on their diabetes journey. We've also got lots of different ways you can get involved with Diabetes Week across the charity.

Let's Talk Diabetes Logo - Northern Ireland podcast

Coming soon... Let's Talk Diabetes - A podcast from Diabetes UK Northern Ireland

This Diabetes Week we're launching our brand new podcast series! Through this new format, we will be providing you with helpful advice, information and inspiration, as we'll be chatting with healthcare professionals, members of the Diabetes UK Northern Ireland team and people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland. 

Our first episode is titled 'Know Your Team' where we catch up with GP Heather Bell and Consultant Paul McMullan, who both focus on diabetes care. This episode is an introduction to what to expect when you're newly diagnosed, who you will meet on your journey and some of the things you may hear from your healthcare professionals. 

There will be a new episode available every month, so make sure to join us as we explore all the topics, advice and questions that matter to you - upcoming guests also include a Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Dietitian, GP Pharmacist and Clinical Psychologist.

Find us on AcastAppleSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Make sure to hit subscribe so that you don’t miss an episode.  

Events during Diabetes Week 

Live Well Hubs

The Live Well Hubs are one stop shops where members of our team provide information and advice to support the health and wellbeing of people living with diabetes. They are open to anyone interested in learning more about diabetes or how to make positive lifestyle changes living with the condition and to those who are worried about their risk.

As part of Diabetes Week, we'll be hosting a lunch at our Bangor and Ballymena Hubs - make sure to come long if you want to learn more about diabetes, chat to others within your community, and to meet the friendly faces behind Diabetes UK Northern Ireland. 

  • Bangor Live Well Hub - Tuesday 13th June from 10am -11am - NDCN Wellbeing Centre, 25-27 main street Bangor
  • Ballymena Live Well Hub - Wednesday 14th June from 10am -11am - Ballykeel Business Centre, Ballymena

If you would like to join us at either Hub, simply send an email to nivolunteering@diabetes.org.uk to register your interest.

Adult type 1 peer support online

We will be hosting a peer support session on Tuesday 13th June from 7pm - 8pm via Zoom - this is a great opportunity for adults living with type 1 diabetes across Northern Ireland to connect with each other. For more information and to sign up, please email nivolunteering@diabetes.org.uk

Information Stall at Comber Leisure Centre

On Tuesday 13th June, members of our team will be providing an information stall at Comber Leisure Centre from 5pm - 8pm. Here you will find helpful resources and support for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including details on the support groups available in Northern Ireland and ways to get involved. 

All Party Group on Diabetes

The All-Party Group (APG) on Diabetes is a cross-party coalition of MLAs with an interest in the care, treatment, and prevention of diabetes. The APG is currently chaired by Stewart Dickson MLA, with Deborah Erskine MLA as Vice-Chair. Diabetes UK Northern Ireland provide secretariat support to the APG.

Marking Diabetes Week, the annual general meeting of the APG will take place on Tuesday 13th June, 12.30pm at Room 21 in Parliament Buildings. In addition to the annual election of office bearers, MLAs will hear an update from the Diabetes Network.

All MLAs are welcome to join the APG so please do ask your local MLA to get in touch if they would like to attend.

Information talk for Pharmacy - Partnership programme

Join us on Wednesday 14th June from 12pm - 1pm at Hanwood Trust, Dundonald, where we will be delivering an information and awareness raising session for the Hanwood Trust and Building the Community-Pharmacy Partnership Programme. Our sessions will focus on health and well-being support for older people within our communities. 

Intro to mindfulness and self-compassion image

Introduction to mindfulness with self-compassion

On Thursday 15th June at 7pm, we will be hosting an online intro to mindfulness with self-compassion.

In this 90-minute mindfulness and self-compassion session, you'll be introduced to mindfulness, its benefits and how to bring this into your everyday life. We will also focus on mindful meditation practices and the importance of self-compassion in this busy modern world.

This session will be facilitated by Lisa Gracey - Coach, Facilitator and Mindfulness Teacher for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland.

Read more and register via Eventbrite.

Men’s Health Fairs

Members of our team and volunteers will be attending the following fairs to provide information and support to people living with diabetes, along with insight into the support groups available in Northern Ireland and how to get involved. Pop along to either of the events below:

  • Avoneil Leisure Centre on Friday 16th June from 10am-2pm
  • South Lakes Leisure Centre on Saturday 17th June from 10am-2pm
Our lives our voices logo

Our Lives, Our Voices 

We're going bowling! If you are aged 11-25 and have type 1 diabetes, why don't you join in? 

Venue: Airtastic Entertainment Centre, Lisburn from 7pm.

Secure your spot by emailing ourlivesourvoices@diabetes.org.uk

Our Lives, Our Voices is a group designed and created by young people living with type 1 diabetes, this youth programme brings young people together to share their stories of living with type 1, improve their understanding of diabetes and its effects, and grow in confidence to better manage their condition. 

During the week our social channels will also be busy as we share special insights into the everyday lives of our the Our Lives, Our Voices members - make sure to follow throughout the week. 

Our Lives, Our Voices social media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Healthcare professionals - how to get involved!

We work with a fantastic network of healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland, providing helpful advice, materials for events, and access to CPD resources to support their everyday practice. If you are a healthcare professional and would like to learn more about how you can support people living with diabetes and hear from fellow professionals, check out some of our information below:

Conversations 

People living with diabetes are more than just their numbers – they each have their own unique set of needs, stories and experiences which shape who they are and how they manage their condition.

We have some helpful resources to support you in your conversations – view our links below and explore our website for more:

Access our new resources 

Check out some of our new materials which can be used in your practice or at events – order from our shop today:

If you have an event coming up and would like to learn about what support we can offer, send us an email today.

Share your views

During #DiabetesWeek we’ll hear from some of our local healthcare professionals sharing their views, experiences and advice for people living with diabetes.

We're excited to launch our very own 'Day in the Life' segment, for our first piece we caught up with Ellen McDonagh, a Diabetes Educator within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust. "What matters to me most in my role as Diabetes Educator is that the people who attend feel empowered to manage their diabetes." 

For more follow us on social media @diabetesukni

We'll be sharing lots of interesting information, advice and support on our social channels throughout Diabetes Week and beyond, make sure to follow us so you don't miss anything: 

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

If you need any further information or support contact our team: n.ireland@diabetes.org.uk or call 028 906 66646.

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