A new support group to help people with diabetes in Ilfracombe has launched and they are inviting people to come along to their next meeting.
The diabetes support and advice group meets monthly and is open to anyone with diabetes and their families. It aims to be a friendly, informal space where people can share practical advice and tips on managing diabetes.
The group is getting together on Thursday 21 June, just after Diabetes Week (11-17 June). The meeting will be held from 1pm-4pm, at Brookdale Church, Brookdale Avenue, Ilfracombe, with refreshments provided.
Podiatrists from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust will also come along to this session to talk about foot care, what the problems are and how to prevent them, as well as answering any questions.
The get-togethers are facilitated by Pam and Carol, two local Ilfracombe residents who are former diabetes specialist nurses.
Pam said: “We set up the group in Ilfracombe after chatting to people with diabetes and their families at a wellbeing event organised by the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service project. They felt that more opportunities for peer support, motivational support and support for their family would help them better manage their condition.
“Our first get-together was in May and was really well received. We had some interesting conversations with people with diabetes, and in future sessions we will be inviting healthcare professionals to come and share some of their useful insights with the group.
“Please do pop along to our next session – we’d love to have you along for a chat and a cuppa.”
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT)’s clinicians, including specialist nurses, consultants, dietitians and podiatrists, are working with local GPs, psychologists and community groups to develop a more joined-up service that better supports the growing number of people living with diabetes. They are doing this through the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service project. The aim is for more people to have access to the right support, at the right time and in the right place, and for healthcare professionals to support people in a way that works for them.
On behalf of the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service project, project lead Andrea Beacham said: “At the beginning of this project, we asked people what support they needed to manage their diabetes. They told us that peer support and education were really important, as well as bringing expertise from the hospital out into the community.
“The project has brought together a community of clinicians across the region to support people with diabetes and their family. This is why our clinicians are now supporting more and more community groups, like the group in Ilfracombe, so we can share knowledge more widely and help people manage their diabetes well.”
The diabetes support and advice group in Ilfracombe is one of several groups that are being set up across northern Devon to give people with diabetes the opportunity to meet with peers, healthcare professionals and share their experiences.
Gayle Richards, diabetes specialist nurse at NDHT, said: “One of the aims of the North Devon Integrated Diabetes Service project is to empower people with diabetes by giving them all the tools, information and specialist advice they need to manage their condition, when they need it. Their views and needs have shaped this project.
“For all the NHS services involved, this has been about sharing our specialist clinical expertise and helping people access it in ways that work for them.”
A complete list of events in North Devon supporting people with diabetes is available here: https://www.northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/services/north-devon-integrated-diabetes-service/find-events-in-your-area/