Help is out there for diabetes sufferers

Hartlepool Diabetes Group members
Hartlepool Diabetes Group members
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PEOPLE coping with the impact of diabetes are being reminded that help and support is out there.

Hartlepool Diabetes Group meets on the first and third Friday of every month at Hartlepool Central Library, in York Road.

It offers a support network and advice with a range of issues, both health and non-health related.

The group’s facilitator, Hayley Hakansson, has been a member since she was diagnosed with diabetes three years ago.

She said: “I have been going since I was first diagnosed, but a lot of people have been going for years and years.

“You don’t have to come to every meeting, you can drop in when you want.
“It has been a real god-send to myself and a lot of people.
“People even stop me in the street and say ‘oh you’re in the diabetes group, what shall I do about this?’

“If I can help, that’s great.”

Health practitioners, including doctors, nurses and dieticians attend the meetings and give talks, as well as company officials with updates on all the latest health equipment.

The group is open to members of all ages and Hayley said diabetes does not just affect the older generation.

Hayley, who heard about the group through staff at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, added: “If anyone needs any help healthwise, if we can’t help, we know the people to put you in touch with.
“If you have any questions, we will try to answer them or get help from health professionals.”

The group, whose secretary is Denise O’Rourke, also has close links with the diabetes team at the town’s hospital, and the group raises funds to help buy machinery and equipment for the department.

The group is also open to people from East Durham and there is also talks from various representatives from non health-related agencies, such as Cleveland Fire Brigade, who give talks on smoke alarms, as well as officials who can give advice on benefits and home safety.

Between 10 and 20 people attend the sessions, but the group would like to see more, as well as non-diabetes sufferers with an interest in the condition.

The group meets on alternate Fridays from 10am-noon in the library’s community room.

For more information, visit www.hartlepooldiabetesgroup.org.uk or call 07818132671