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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 11-25 years living with type 1 diabetes in Northern Ireland.

Over five 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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WE ARE TYPE 1!

Designed and created by young people living with type 1 diabetes, this 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:

  • Introduction to diabetes - your hopes and fears
  • Diabetes distress and diabetes burnout
  • Self-care and improving your mental health
  • Challenging the stigma of diabetes
  • HCP Session - your chance to ask the important questions that are always on your mind
  • 'From Diagnosis to Today...' a creative session looking back at those important moments in your life which make you special.

Register for our next programme

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

Coming up in 2022

Social Media Day

Saturday 5th March

Whether you're a budding artist, movie maker, Instagram creator or TikTok expert who wants to spread the message of living with type 1, then we would like you to join us. Contact Hailey.tumilson@diabetes.org.uk or DM us on our social media pages

'We are Type One' youth work programme (via Zoom)

Starts Tuesday 22nd March

Our new youth work programme for young people aged 11 to 17 years begins this year. Delivered over 4 evening sessions, you will have the chance to share your stories of living with type 1 diabetes, learn and grow in confidence to better manage your diabetes and make new friends along the way. Check out our social media to find out more.

Dates are: Tuesday, 22nd, Wednesday 23rd, Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th March 

Times: 645pm to 9pm

Register to take part for the programme.

'We are Type One' youth work programme

(in person)

 

Saturday 26th march and 2nd April.

Our new youth work programme for young people aged 11 to 17 years begins this year. Delivered over two days, you will have the chance to share your stories of living with type 1 diabetes, learn and grow in confidence to better manage your diabetes and make new friends along the way. Check out our social media to find out more.

Register to take part for the programme.

Imagine Festival

Thursday 24th March (7pm to 8pm)

Imagine Belfast! will be hosting its eighth annual festival of ideas and politics and the Our Lives Our Voices project will be hosting a 'Diabetes and Advocacy' discussion based on the 'We are type one' film created by participants on the project.

Registration is required (more information to follow)

 

'we R type 1'     gathering

Saturday 30th April (10am to 3pm)

Take the opportunity to come and meet other people living with the condition, share stories and experiences. It will feature speakers and workshops on a range of topics including 

Organised by young leaders on the Our Lives Our Voices project and is free to all. 

Registration is required (more information to follow)

 

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're 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 3 years we have recruited over 40 volunteer young leaders (aged 13-25 years) from across Northern Ireland who have taken part in training to allow them to run their own programmes and activities and be able to support other young people living with type 1, their families and their health care professionals all whilst creating a world of better understanding.

They chat daily and meet regularly to plan and deliver the activities and events they believe will help others understand what it is like to live with type one diabetes. 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.

 

Positives of Living with diabetes

During Diabetes Week 2021, Diabetes UK have been sharing #DiabetesStories from across the UK.

Our Lives Our Voices young leaders here in Northern Ireland have decided it was time to show their diabetes story in a positive way, showing what they've learned from living with type 1 and focusing on the good that has come from being part of the project.

Watch their video.

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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