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Melin Primary school in Neath wins good diabetes care award

Tamara Jones at Melin Primary last year

A school in Neath, Port Talbot has won an award for providing great care to children and young people with type 1 diabetes.

Melin Primary School was awarded the Diabetes UK ‘Good Diabetes Care in School Award 2020’. It was chosen because of the support it provides to pupils with the condition, the help it offers to manage their diabetes safely, and the care it takes to include them in all school activities.

The award aims to raise awareness of the vital role good diabetes care in school plays. Good care keeps students safe and supports them in achieving their full academic potential. It also promotes their personal development. This year has been especially important in making sure school children with type 1 diabetes are kept safe and still receive an education.

Deputy Headmistress, Debbie Harris: “It is an honour to receive the Good Diabetes Care in School award at Melin Primary School. We work hard with health care staff and the families of children with diabetes to provide the best care possible for the children.

At Melin Primary School we do everything possible to ensure that children with diabetes are able to continue a normal life. This means the same as their peers and not being left out from any activities. These children are amazing and have adapted so well in taking care of themselves.”

Caring environment helped pupil through diagnosis

One of Diabetes UK Cymru’s youngest supporters, Tamara Jones, 11 went to Melin School. She said: “I was very unwell. When I found out about my condition it was scary at first. I spent time in hospital, but my family, friends and teachers at primary school all helped me to cope with it.”

Tamara’s mum, Donna said: “Tamara was diagnosed when she was nine and the support the school provided was second to none. It was such a caring environment. It really helped her feel positive about her diabetes. I had no concerns, because I know she was so well looked after. The transition to secondary school has been difficult, particularly with Covid-19 restrictions. It’s important that large secondary schools give children the time to manage their diabetes and understand the challenges they face.”

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition where blood glucose levels are too high because the body can't make a hormone called insulin. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.

People with type 1 diabetes need to check their blood glucose levels using a blood glucose testing device several times a day. This is important because over a long period of time, high glucose levels in the blood can lead to the development of complications. But with the right treatment and care, the long-term effects of diabetes and high glucose levels can be managed.

Find out more about the Good Diabetes Care in School Award.

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