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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Our Lives, Our Voices Youth Project

'Our Lives Our voices' in a blue circle with a small blue heart

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.

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

 

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Wellbeing programme - currently being delivered online via Zoom

Designed and created by young people living with type 1 diabetes, the four-session wellbeing youth work programme brings young people together to share their stories of living with type 1, improve their understanding of diabetes and its effects, and to grow in confidence to better manage their condition. The themes of the programme are:

  • Type 1 vs type 2 - what's the difference?
  • Introduction to self-care and great mental health
  • What is burnout and how can I protect myself?
  • Challenging the stigma of diabetes
  • Question and answer session with a healthcare professional
  • 'From Diagnosis to Today...'. 

Register for our next wellbeing programme, starting on Wednesday 16th June and running each Wednesday for four weeks (7pm to 9pm). 

For more information please contact us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or email our youth work team at ourlivesourvoices@diabetes.org.uk.

Coming up

Every Thursday  Kids in Control Project (for under-18s)

Are you between 13-17 years old and living with or affected by type 1 diabetes? Are you interested in the arts, drama or theatre? Then join other young people like you to create and produce a 15 minute film of what it is like to live with type 1 diabetes.

Find out more or register for our Kids in Control programme.

Every Monday Kids in Control Project (18+)

Are you aged 18-25 years and living with type 1 diabetes? Interested in working with others like you to create stories and a film that represent young people living with type 1 diabetes? Find out more and register.

Monday 17th May Teenage & type 1

Our very own type 1 team are hosting their first ‘Teenage and type 1’ online Q&A session to hear from our panel of 15 to 21-year-olds living with type 1. They’ll share their personal experiences and answer questions about the (emotional and practical) highs and lows.

Find out more and register and if you know a teen who might be interested, why not invite them to sign up?

Wednesday 16th June Wellbeing Programme

Taking place every Wednesday at 7pm, this four-week programme brings young people together to share their stories of living with type 1 diabetes, grow in confidence, learn how to better manage diabetes and make new friends. Check out our social media to find out more and to take part or email ourlivesourvoices@diabetes.org.uk.

 

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.

Over the last year we have recruited over 30 volunteer young leaders (aged 13-25 years) from across Northern Ireland who have taken the lead to identify their own specific training and development needs to be able to support their peers, other young people and their families and their health care professionals to create a better understanding of the world in which they live. In doing so, they meet regularly to plan and organise the activities and events they believe will help them achieve their goals. Young Leaders are also partners on the National Steering Group to help us achieve our aims and objectives. The project will also involve working with other mental health support organisations to develop relationships with healthcare professionals, to improve care for those who live with type 1 diabetes. 

Get in touch 

If you know anyone who lives with or is affected by type 1 diabetes, and is aged between 13 and 25 years, then ask them to get in touch through our social media pages above or email ourlivesourvoices@diabetes.org.uk and we will respond within the next working day.

Feel free to download the role description and application form (at the top of the page) and we will look forward to hearing from you.

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 as three out of five 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."

#OurLivesOurVoices


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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