Diabetes support group’s good start

A new diabetes peer group has celebrated its successful first sessions and is looking forward to welcoming more people to its next meeting.

The new peer support groups for Diabetes UK sessions take place in Spalding and Long Sutton on a monthly basis and have been set up in the hope of diabetic community coming together to offer advice and solutions.

Organiser Hayley Gedney said: “I am a volunteer for Diabetes UK, following a shock diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes in January 2017.

“I saw a gap in the support for diabetics between their annual reviews and decided to do something myself to help others suffering from the condition.

“The peer groups run roughly every six weeks, and are there for all diabetics to come together and discuss any good habits they’ve introduced, find solutions to problems, and find help and support from others suffering from the same condition.”

The sessions are open to both Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetics and carers of all ages, with the goal to “create a powerful network of care and support across South Holland.”

The support groups for the year have been scheduled and are themed, with the next meeting titled ‘Looking after your diabetes’, in Spalding taking place on February 28 at Tonic Health at 6pm, and in Long Sutton at the Market House on March 6 at 2pm and 6pm.

No booking is necessary for the meetings and they are free to attend.

Hayley said the first session in Spalding last month was a success.

“We had around seven Type 2 Diabetics, and two Type 1 Diabetics in attendance.

“We discussed our conditions, and how we coped over the festive period, with all the indulgence that presents itself every year.

“We discussed diabetes in general, as it was the first session of the year, and ideas on how we can all improve our condition with diet and exercise.”

Other topics discussed in the January meeting included how grievance and stress can affect sugar levels, and how to combat this with compassion.

“Sometimes no matter how hard we try, other influencing factors can contribute to our poor health, and as long as we are doing things to help yourself moving forward, and that you learn from such events, we can all move forward with better understanding of our own bodies, and know what to expect in future situations,” Hayley said.

While the meetings will have a theme, Hayley plans for them to be ultimately led by the thoughts, concerns and ideas of the attendees.

“Each month I try to touch on different subjects but as it’s a patient-led group, sometimes participants steer this in a different direction to that intended, but I ensure its on the subject of diabetes, and all discussions we ensure people are learning and gaining experience from it.

“In future groups, we will be addressing diet, exercise, technology and research.

“I invite participants to research topics to bring to the discussion next time.”

For more information on the Spalding or Long Sutton groups, contact Hayley via email at southholland.diabetesuk@gmail.com or call 07939 593957.

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