Throughout the pandemic, the Coleraine group adapted to new ways of reaching more people to offer their peer support by going online and, as a result, were able to welcome more members to their group.
Secretary of the group, Alastair Smith, said: “The pandemic highlighted how tough it is to live with diabetes, and it was so important for us to continue our work and be there for people living with diabetes during what was a really stressful and fearful time.
“Despite the restrictions and long periods of isolation, we were keen to continue to meet virtually and discuss fundraising ideas, amongst other diabetes related topics, as we look forward to meeting in person again soon.
“We are delighted to donate £7,000 from our Support Group to Diabetes UK Northern Ireland and we have selected three research projects to adopt as a result. These diabetes-related research projects are being carried out in both Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast so we are so happy to be able to contribute to research that could make a real difference.”
The group was also delighted to have the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council light up blue to show their support to the local diabetes community.
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Cllr Richard Holmes, said: “I’m very pleased to support the hardworking members of the Coleraine Support Group ahead of World Diabetes Day. This year the annual campaign has added significance as it is almost 100 years since the first successful injection of insulin.
“Work continues now to ensure access to diabetes care for all those who need it, and we’re very fortunate to have local volunteers who are committed to helping those with a diabetic diagnosis and their families.”
Naomi Breen, Fundraising Manager at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said, “Our support groups across Northern Ireland are incredible; the people involved know what it is like to live with a relentless condition like diabetes and go out of their way to support and help others in their community. As a charity, we are so grateful for their energy, commitment and compassion, not the mention the difference they continue to make.
“We would like to thank the Coleraine Support Group and all those who supported their fundraising activities over what has been a very difficult year. Researchers at our local universities do an amazing job and to have their projects sponsored by a local group means so much. Thank you also to the Council for their support for going blue on World Diabetes Day and helping us raise awareness about diabetes.”
If you would like to find out more about the Diabetes UK Northern Ireland support groups or how to sponsor diabetes-related research then please contact [email protected] The Coleraine Support Group can be contacted at [email protected]
For support or information about diabetes, visit, www.diabetes.org.uk.