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What we're about

AUDIENCE

This group is for people with Type 1 Diabetes, and their partners, who are aged 18 and over.

AIMS

The aims for this Meetup are as follows, in this order of priority:

1) Provide an informal monthly face-to-face social meetup where we can generally have a good time, offer support to each other, share ideas and build friendships.

2) The opportunity to buddy up with newly diagnosed T1ers to help them through those early years.

3) Hear from Diabetes specialists about the latest trends and technology advancements in T1 management and research.

4) The opportunity to provide an interface back into the Type 1 Developments Services at Newcastle Diabetes Centre, or attend Focus Groups.

WHAT WE’LL DO?

We’ll meet up informally once a month in different locations, activities may include meeting for drinks in a pub, teaming up for a quiz, going for breakfast, or a walk somewhere and coffee or lunch afterwards...totally open to ideas!

On occasions it may be possible that we could have a Q&A session with diabetes specialists and they could attend one of our Meetups as guests.

Whilst I cannot guarantee everybody could do this, T1ers could attend some of the initiatives at the Newcastle Diabetes Centre which aim to improve local services available for people with T1. This would be done on a volunteer basis with the opportunity for different volunteers to attend over the year.

WHY SET THIS UP?

I have been attending clinics at the Newcastle Diabetes Centre for over two years now and each time I have engaged with other people with T1. Having talked to them very briefly I felt some sense of frustration that I couldn't continue the chat before we were ushered off to see one of the team of nurses, doctors or consultants. After that you are essentially on your own again and back into life as usual.

On one occasion I spoke with a partner of a person with T1 who was very interested in understanding whether what his partner was experiencing was "normal". It was refreshing to talk to people easily and relate to them immediately.

I have found that there are no support groups in the North East, especially ones that solely cater to Type 1s, as to my mind the conditions are quite different and affect the individuals in completely different ways.

So, I thought I would do something about it, and try and start a regular meetup without the need to be too formal or affiliate it with the usual channels e.g. Diabetes UK or Diabetes.org.uk etc…

WHY CALL IT "Sugarless” North East Type 1s

It boils down to ignorance of a single individual at school. Shortly after diagnosis, at the age of 12, I returned to school and was immediately singled out as the "boy who ate biscuits in class", and then labelled "sugarless b*st*rd" by a class mate! This always struck me as being stupid, since that clearly wasn't my issue (in either case as it happens).

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