Our Northern Ireland National Director, Tina McCrossan, has now been with us for a year. She marks her first anniversary by reflecting on her team's accomplishments. In particular, Tina looks at how the unique challenges of the last 12 months have been tackled head-on, so that she and her team have been able to keep supporting people with diabetes.
What a difference a year makes! I can hardly believe that February 17, 2021 marks exactly a year since my first day at Diabetes UK NI.
Thinking back, I can easily recall the warm welcome from my team. And as difficult as it may be to imagine now, the shaking of hands, (without sanitiser), during introductions in the ‘traditional’ setting of our Lisburn office rather than a ‘virtual’ workplace we are now, oh so, familiar with.
How all our worlds have changed since that day. But what struck me on February 17, 2020 was how at home I immediately felt at Diabetes UK NI – as well as the energy and enthusiasm the team had for their work. I quickly realised this was driven by wanting to make the lives of people living with diabetes better and this desire was infectious.
Staying on course to support people with diabetes
As a team, we’ve never deviated from this being our core inspiration. Despite the physical changes over the past year, such as, being unable to meet those who need our help face-to-face. I’m proud of how our team has risen to the challenges during this unprecedented time. They’ve been flexible in adapting our existing services and support to the virtual world we increasingly inhabit. They've responded to need, creating the likes of our telephone Befriender Service for those without digital access.
As we continue to migrate our way through the Covid-19 crisis we will focus on remaining the trusted voice for people living with diabetes, their carers and the health care professionals who help manage their condition. We will continue to think of new, creative ways to reach more people from these sections of the diabetes community to engage with. We will remain steadfast champions for better support and services for those living with diabetes to make their lives easier.
Our strategy of asking and listening to the people that need us most will ensure we influence the decision-makers and change policy for the better, as well as delivering the right services at the right time.
I’m genuinely proud of the Diabetes UK NI team and what they have achieved over the past tumultuous year. I’m looking forward to another year of making a positive difference – but perhaps one in which Covid-19 and the well-known phrase of ‘you’re on mute’ aren’t mentioned as much!
Stay safe and take care,