A Community Champion for Diabetes UK in the Midlands has won funding to run a pilot six week course to help those newly diagnosed with diabetes.
Susan Haynes-Elcock, from Wolverhampton, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and found there was little advice and help available to support her during those first few months of coping with the condition. Since then she has set about sharing her diet and lifestyle changes with others to help them manage their diabetes successfully and recently published a cook book of adapted Caribbean recipes with the same great taste but reduced fat and sugar contents.
The “World of Difference UK” Vodafone funding gives 500 people the chance to work for a UK charity of their choice and get paid for two months. Susan choose Diabetes UK because of the support the charity offered her after diagnosis and as an opportunity to increase the work she is already doing as a volunteer.
“Getting it right in those first few months after diagnosis is so important, but it is difficult to know where to get advice and what to do. I am delighted to have won this funding so that I can work with a group of people in the Wolverhampton area, who have just been told they have diabetes, for this six week course. My plan is to meet informally at a time to suit the group and share my experiences and knowledge to get people on the right track of self-management from the beginning. This will include advice on diet, exercise and the best ways of coping with having diabetes.
“Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a scary and confusing experience and getting help straight away can make a real difference to get the right routine in place and avoid serious complications in the future, such as kidney failure, blindness and amputation, which can occur if the condition is not well managed. The advantage of this pilot is that it will be tailored to the needs of the group and meet their specific concerns and challenges.”
Shaleen Sandhu, Diverse Communities Officer with Diabetes UK in the Midlands said:
“I’m really pleased that Susan has got this funding so she can expand the voluntary work she already does for us and reach more people with the condition. Susan’s personal experience resonates with the people she will be working with, as they know she really understands what they are going through at this early stage in their diagnosis. She is an inspiration and shows how positively approaching the condition and taking control means you can lead a healthy, happy life with diabetes.”
Susan will be working in partnership on this project with Saima Younas who is another Diabetes UK volunteer and has a Health Studies degree from Wolverhampton University and two other volunteers studying in Birmingham Muneeba Qayum and Harleen Sidhu.
If you have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and would like to join Susan and her group or are interested in volunteering for the charity please contact Diabetes UK in the Midlands on 01922 614500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org