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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 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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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...' a creative session where young people tell their stories through the medium of art

Register for our next wellbeing programme, starting on Wednesday 8th October 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

Coming up

Saturday, 2 October Kids in Control Project Premiere

12 aspiring actors, extras and producers will come together to deliver their much anticipated film on the 'relentlessness of living with type 1 diabetes' in partnership with Kids in Control and as part of the Bounce Festival.

Wednesday, 6 October Peer Support 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 in our August programme email


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 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 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 here.

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."


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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