Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Diabetes UK Web Resource Group



A couple of weeks ago we got an invitation in our inbox to come and join other young people with diabetes to create a web resource group by Diabetes UK.
Of course we said yes as firstly we agree with the idea of young people creating resources for others and secondly think that when people with diabetes come together great things happen. The day was being held in London so on the last weekend in January three of us made our way there and the creativity began!

The meeting itself was held in Diabetes UK's head office in Camden North London, so we travelled up together as fellow Blue Circle Diabetes Support Group members on the train. It was great to catch up with each other and make some plans for the upcoming year for the group. It's strangely wonderful to spend time with someone else with diabetes when you have the condition yourself, because there's no need to apologise or explain yourself when blood testing or pumping/ injecting. And so the journey flew by.

When we arrived there were twelve young adults including myself that made up the resource group who'd travelled from all around the UK. It was great to meet some new faces from Scotland and Northern Ireland and see some familiar ones in the form of the Welsh Diabetes group- YPP (young peoples project) and YLAG (young leaders action group). Also in attendance there was a great web development group called Nonsense, the Diabetes UK web person and the head of the project from Diabetes UK- Chris. Whose great idea it was to bring us all together.

The aim of the day was to begin creating the concept for a web resource for young people with diabetes to use as a point of reference for information, a means of communication to get in touch with each other and the provision of an opportunity to allow them to feel empowered about their condition. The morning began with us sitting around a table and talking about what was already out there in the UK in terms of web resources for people with and without diabetes- what was good and worked what was bad and didn't. We also talked about what we all thought was missing at the moment and that we feel young people could really benefit from. After breaking for lunch we divided into groups to tackle topics that were key issues for young people with diabetes. Issues such as diabetes treatment and advice, availability of medical options in your area, sport, travel, food and nutrition advice and the list goes on.

The meeting was a great starting point in creating the diabetes web resource and it's great that Diabetes UK believe enough in young people to put the responsibility of creating it in our hands. We learnt and shared a lot and we were reminded once again how very different all of our diabetes experiences can be. That's why it's so important that we are able to have a place that we can come together and share experiences because we're stronger and better together. We can't wait for the next meeting and to start seeing the site come together. So watch this space!