People living with diabetes in Cumbria and the North East of England are being encouraged to join a scheme which gives them the chance to talk to others living with the condition, from the safety of their own homes.
Befriending circles have been launched in both regions by Diabetes UK, keeping people connected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Cumbria Befriending Circle was launched last year, with the intention of supporting people living in isolated locations, and has seen an influx of new members in recent months. The North East Befriending Circle was launched in May of this year and is welcoming members.
The way the schemes work is simple. Upon contacting Diabetes UK, anyone living with diabetes or caring for someone with the condition is matched with a trained, locally-based Diabetes UK volunteer who has been affected in a similar way to them. The two people are connected by email or telephone, so they can begin to talk through any problems or issues they may be going through and provide peer support for each other.
Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK, said:
“Our Cumbria Befriending Circle has been operating for a year and has proved a great success. We decided to roll out a similar scheme for the North East, as we know there are a lot of people living with diabetes in this region who would appreciate some support and friendship at a time when Diabetes UK events and meetings have been paused or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We’re at the stage now where we are welcoming people on to the North East scheme, while there is also capacity for people from Cumbria to be connected to our befrienders.”
The Diabetes UK Cumbria Befriending Circle is open to anyone affected by the condition in the area. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07469 154828.
To join the Diabetes UK North East of England Befriending Circle, email Evie Kinghorn at email@example.com or telephone 07885 557010.