Supporting young people with diabetes at Nottingham Hospitals

Diabetes Independence Day 1

Earlier this month, we funded a special Diabetes Independence Day, which aimed to support and inform young people living with diabetes.

The day was run by the NUH Youth Service, who work with young patients being treated for a whole range of conditions at Nottingham Hospitals, and aimed to help prepare them for the transition to becoming adult patients.

At the event, young people aged 17 to 19 could take part in a range of workshops and learn about diabetes control, driving, sexual health, and how their condition can be affected by alcohol and drugs.

The session was held in an informal setting, with a free meal afterwards, to encourage young patients with diabetes to come along, learn something new, and receive support in managing their condition as they reach adulthood.

Diabetes Transition Day photos
The group were set fun tasks, such as shopping with a £5 budget for food for an entire week, as well as listening to talks from a young adult patient with diabetes, and a clinical psychologist who offered them support with their mental and emotional wellbeing as they transition from being child patients to adult patients.

One participant said: “I enjoyed meeting new people who really understand what it’s like to live with diabetes, and learnt lots of new things about diabetes and driving, and the effect of alcohol and drugs on my diabetes control.”

Paediatric Diabetes Nurse Specialist Vreni Verhoeven, who helped organise the event, said: “For me it was really moving to see how the participants all exchanged phone numbers and Instagram accounts at the end. The most unlikely people seemed to forge friendships – all living with the challenge of navigating through life with a chronic, life-long condition helps to cross other barriers extremely quickly.

“The day was beautifully finished off with a lovely meal where everybody was getting involved in lively conversations. If anybody had observed from the outside they would never have guessed that most of the people round this table had only met for the first time a few hours earlier!”
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