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Our Lives, Our Voices: Volunteer Youth Leader

Diabetes UK Northern Ireland has been successful in securing funding from the National Lottery Community Fund - Empowering Young People (formerly known as the Big Lottery Fund NI) to deliver a new project for young people aged 13-25 years living with type 1 diabetes in Northern Ireland.

Community fund NI logo

Over four years, we’re aiming to run a range of activities that will help young people boost their confidence and emotional wellbeing in managing type 1 diabetes. We want to connect with other young people living with type 1, build a peer support network and help young people to influence the way healthcare services are provided for young people.

Take the lead for type 1 diabetes

As a young person living with type 1 diabetes, you are central to the success of this project. We are asking you to take the lead on the project, help us plan and design these activities and tell us what matters most to young people.

The plan for the next year is to recruit 20 to 25 Volunteer Youth Leaders (aged 18-25 years) from across Northern Ireland. They will identify their own specific training and development needs to be able to support their peers, other young people and their families to create better understanding of the world in which they live. We will also set up a Youth-Led Steering Group and we’re looking for five volunteers with type 1 diabetes to join the Steering Group. The project will also involve partnership working with other mental health support organisations to develop relationships with health care professionals, to improve the levels of care for those who live with type 1 diabetes.


If you know anyone who lives with type 1 diabetes and is aged between 13 and 25 years then ask them to get in touch by phoning 02890666646 or email ourlivesourvoices@diabetes.org.uk.

Download the role description and application form and we will look forward to hearing from you.

Dates for your diary

Saturday 8 February 2020

- RESCHEDULED due to weather. This event is now taking place on SATURDAY 7 MARCH

Ten-Pin Bowling @ Antrim Forum (13-17 year olds) 

Monday 17 February - Friday 21 February 2020 (10am - 3pm each day)

Pilot Wellbeing Programme for 13-17 year olds in the Northern Trust area; All Saints Parish Centre, Ballymena (food and refreshments included)

To register contact OurLivesOurVoices@diabetes.org.uk

Saturday 22 February 2020

Volunteer Enhanced Safeguarding Training (Lisburn) (18-25 year olds)

Thursday 27 February 2020 Our Lives, Our Voices Press Launch for Well Being Programme Recruitment Launch
Thursday 5 March 2020 Young Leaders Presentation @ UUJ Magee Campus
Thursday 12 March 2020

One Stop Shop Event @ Stormont Hotel (Supporting South Eastern Trust)

Friday 17 April - Sunday 19 April 2020 Residential (18-25 year olds)
Monday 27 April 2020

Young Leaders Presentation @ UUJ Magee Campus

Tuesday 23 June - Friday 26 June 2020 Well Being Programme (Western Trust Area)
Tuesday 30 June - Friday 3 July 2020 Well Being Programme (Southern Trust Area)
Tuesday 7 July - Friday 10 July 2020

Well Being Programme (Northern Trust Area)

Tuesday 28 July - Friday 31 July 2020 Well Being Programme (South Eastern Trust Area)
Tuesday 4 August - Friday 7 August 2020 Well Being Programme (Belfast Trust Area)

Focus Group for 13-17 year olds

The Our Lives, Our Voices Project would like to recruit a group of young people aged 13-17 years old, who live with Type 1 diabetes, to give us their views and opinions on a youth work programme designed by you and delivered to other young people with Type 1 diabetes across Northern Ireland.

Your voice will help make things better for other young people with Type 1 diabetes. Come and join us at our bowling event on Saturday 8 February. Contact us OurLivesOurVoices@diabetes.org.uk

Residential Round-Up

The Our Lives, Our Voices group recently enjoyed a residential at Tollymore Forest Park and Aoibhinn tells us a bit more about how she found the weekend.

“Living with Type 1 Diabetes is hard -

and it’s even harder when you feel alone and isolated. ”

But last weekend, that all changed. The Diabetes UK Northern Ireland residential enabled me to meet and mingle with other Type 1 Diabetics, who are all fighting the same daily battle. This is a group of people who understand, appreciate, and unconditionally support each other. Because you don’t feel at all weird debating the carb contents of the soup, or how certain insulins are affecting you, or even discussing this ‘Pimp My Diabetes’ website that you recently found.

It’s a group of people who are all on the same team, cheering each other on (...even if our competitive sides did come out during the paired orienteering).

This became particularly apparent as we discussed the importance of mental health - especially for as 3 out of 5 diabetics admit to struggling with their emotional or mental health.

To target this, we’ve worked on developing an action plan that will help Type 1 diabetics in the future, to equip them with the tools and support system to ease their diabetic journey and remind them that they’re not alone.

So, thanks to Carl McKeating, Diabetes UK Northern Ireland Youth Co-Ordinator, for organising, and to the nurses Hilary and Julie for accompanying us on our residential. As Carl commented, this group has hit the ground running - and we’re only getting started…


OLOV group at Tollymore Forest Park


Please note: We may collect your photographic images/videos during the Our lives, Our Voices Programme. If you do not want us to capture and process your information in this way, please inform the organisers. We will contact you for your consent before using your photographic images/video.

Working in partnership with AWARE and Action Mental Health.

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