A young woman from Ashfield who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes has started volunteering for the charity that offers support to others living with the condition.
Lucy Curtis (22), is using her experience of living with diabetes to trial a confidential ‘peer support’ scheme that has been launched by the Diabetes UK charity.
Lucy has been trained to use her knowledge to reach out to people with the condition and who are looking for support or advice.
Lucy said: “For many people living with diabetes can make them feel very isolated and alone and some struggle emotionally.
“I am here to lend a listening ear and help talk about subjects that friends and family without the condition might not understand.”
The scheme means that people who have been diagnosed with diabetes have someone to talk to who understands the challenges of being a diabetic.
People can call or email their questions, and one of the charity’s trained volunteers will chat through their issues or email back.
Added Lucy: “I was diagnosed when I was 11 and I didn’t know anyone else with diabetes until I was 19.
“I now know how helpful it would have been if I could have chatted to someone who really understood.
“I volunteer for a three hour slot once a week. There are a huge range of calls that come in but the root of each one is a need to connect with someone who really understands what it is like to live with diabetes.”
To contact the Peer Support Scheme, call 0843 353 8600 from Sunday to Friday between 6pm and 9pm, or email through the website www.diabetes.org.uk/peer-support. Queries will be matched up with a suitable, trained volunteer
Diabetes UK’s Regional Manager Pete Shorrick said: “Lucy is a fantastic advocate for living with diabetes and still living life to the full.”
He added: “As it’s a lifelong condition, it can be difficult, but through this project Diabetes UK offers the chance to talk to someone who has been there, who knows first-hand what it is like to live with diabetes.
“Feeling like no-one understands what you are going through can be tough but sharing experiences with someone who knows is often half the battle to managing the condition.”