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DRWF was delighted to welcome guests back to attend one of our educational events after two years, at the recent Diabetes Wellness Day South.

 

Lee Calladine, DRWF Event Co-ordinator, reports on the return of in-person events following a challenging couple of years due to the global pandemic.

A huge success enjoyed by all!

 

“March 2020 seems like a blur now of hurried meetings and difficult decisions including the cancellation of our entire Diabetes Wellness Programme of educational events ahead of the looming pandemic.

 

“We never knew then that it would be almost three years until we could return to our face-to-face educational days, so it was with great excitement and enthusiasm that we were able to hold our first events again this year. Our Diabetes Wellness Type 1 Family Camp took place in Staffordshire in April closely followed by the Diabetes Wellness Day South.

 

“We returned to the Solent Hotel in Whiteley, Hampshire on Saturday, 14th May where we were joined by 175 people living with diabetes, a raft of exhibitors, holistic experts, the diabetes specialist teams from Portsmouth, Southampton and West Hampshire NHS and a programme of fantastic speakers.

 

“The day began early with registration, arrival tea and coffee and time to visit the stands and experts before the first sessions on the programme started.

 

Picture: Lee Calladine (left) with Dr Mayank Patel (right) from University Hospital Southampton.

Dr Mayank Patel and DRWF Lee


“Dr Mayank Patel, Consultant in Diabetes from University Hospital Southampton, and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Southampton, who is also a member of the DRWF Editorial Advisory Board, presented a session titled ‘The Fantastic Journey’ in which we took an historic look back at the history of insulin and different types of tablets, insulin delivery and diabetes management since Banting and Best delivered the first insulin injection to Leonard Thompson 100 years ago. Dr Patel took us through the decades to present day and discussion about what treatments are likely to come next and into the future.

 

“Sarah Woodman, Head of Service, Physical Health at the Portsmouth and SE Division of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, and Georgette Alayyan, Lead Diabetes Specialist Dietitian at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, joined forces to deliver a session reminding us of the importance of diet and nutrition in managing diabetes as well as looking at types of carbohydrates and their function, dose adjusting and the support available like the NHS Weight Loss Plan and Type 2 Prevention Programme.

 

“Julie Weeks (MSc), Occupational Therapist and Shiatsu Practitioner/Teacher and Tai Chi for Health Instructor, did two fantastic sessions about using holistic approaches such as tai chi for our physical and mental wellbeing as part of our overall diabetes management. Julie encouraged our delegates to try some simple and gentle tai chi moves in the peace and surroundings of the hotel gardens. Perfect on such a glorious and sunny day.

 

“The very important topic of diabetes, eye health and retinal screening was also covered by Lisa Thain, Engagement Officer, and David Matthews, Deputy Programme Manager and Stakeholder and Quality Assurance Manager from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Diabetic Eye Screening Programme. Lisa and David highlighted the importance of attending annual eye screening, what the screening entails, what they look for and the type of treatments undertaken if any stage of retinopathy is detected. They concluded with questions and answers and the rest of their team also had an information stand in the exhibition area complete with cameras and equipment to look at.

Dr Mayank Patel talking at our wellness day.


Picture: Dr Mayank Patel during his session on the history of insulin and the development of treating diabetes. 

“The very important topic of diabetes, eye health and retinal screening was also covered by Lisa Thain, Engagement Officer, and David Matthews, Deputy Programme Manager and Stakeholder and Quality Assurance Manager from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Diabetic Eye Screening Programme. Lisa and David highlighted the importance of attending annual eye screening, what the screening entails, what they look for and the type of treatments undertaken if any stage of retinopathy is detected. They concluded with questions and answers and the rest of their team also had an information stand in the exhibition area complete with cameras and equipment to look at.

“After a nice healthy lunch and break, the programme was resumed, and the talks were all repeated to provide delegates the chance to take in the remaining presentations they missed in the morning and an opportunity to visit the experts and exhibitors from the diabetes teams, diagnostic companies and diabetes[1]related organisations, before we brought the day to a close.

“So, after three years, our first Diabetes Wellness Day back was a huge success and enjoyed by all. “We are already in the planning for our Diabetes Wellness Day Midlands in Kenilworth in September and Diabetes Wellness Day North in Hartlepool in November and looking forward very much to welcoming old friends and new to join us at those.”

For more information, please visit our Events news pages where you can register easily or contact Lee Calladine directly by email or by telephone on 023 9263 6133. 

Our volunteers Lionel and Pauline.
Wellness Day North group photo.


Diabetes Wellness Day Midlands

Saturday, 24th September 2022

Chesford Grange, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

Book here


Diabetes Wellness Day North

Saturday, 26th November 2022

The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool

Book here

Colourful kit bags tailor-made to meet the needs of people living with diabetes


An introduction to Threads of Life from founder Fiona Courtman, who recently showcased her designs created especially for people living with diabetes at the DRWF Diabetes Wellness Day South.

Threads of Life attended the DRWF Diabetes Wellness Day South for the first time in May and founder Fiona talks us through her creations – in addition to where you can find her bespoke range of diabetes kit bags.

Fiona at her Threads of Life stand.

Picture: Fiona at the Diabetes Wellness Day at her stand

“The recent DRWF Diabetes Wellness Day South was a hugely encouraging event for me as a small business owner,” said Fiona. “I design cases for diabetes testing kit, inspired by my daughter who lives with type 1 diabetes. A real highlight of the day was talking to people who are actively taking steps to live well with diabetes. Our colourful kit cases proved very popular, especially with one person who is visually impaired and commented that black cases can be easily misplaced. It was also great to meet other stallholders; including Funky Pumpers who have been selling Threads of Life kit cases for a while, but we had not met face to face until the Wellness Day!

“I started making early iterations of the kit cases for my daughter soon after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and they received such positive feedback from her diabetes specialist nurse that I decided to partner with an ethical producer to develop a range of cases for other people who live with diabetes. The initial thought behind the cases was partly to reduce the number of different bags to bring with us and also to create a case that would be more aesthetically pleasing to use!


“The medium case has room for up to two insulin pens, a finger pricker, meter and test strips. There are also roomy pockets for extras such as a Libre or Omnipod reader. When my daughter moved over from pen therapy to using an insulin pump, we continued to use the medium-sized case as we always bring an insulin pen along and still needed various supplies which are kept in the pockets, for example spare batteries, ketone strips, lancets and needles in case the pump fails (this is very rare but we like to be prepared!).

“Testing kit is such an important part of the day-to-day reality for people living with diabetes and having a case made from quality fabrics in bright colours can help to brighten up your day. “The small cases have proved more popular with those who just need to test their blood sugar levels once or twice a day, such as those living with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes. They are small enough to put in a bag and know that you have the essentials there when needed.”

A threads for life bag.

Threads of Life cases are designed by Fiona in the UK and use traditional Dhaka fabric which is woven in Nepal, just a stone’s throw from the ethical production unit in Kathmandu where the cases are made. Fiona has always loved colour so one of her favourite parts of the design process is matching the Dhaka pattern to a complementary canvas shade. Currently the range has three canvas outer shades: red, teal and grey. There are also designs with the Dhaka fabric on the outside for those who really wish to make a statement with their diabetes kit case!

Check out the designs here

For more information about attending a DRWF Diabetes Wellness Day as an exhibitor contact Lee Calladine directly by email or by telephone on 023 9263 6133

Read more at DRWF Educational and Fundraising Events in 2022: Getting back together again to support people living with diabetes
Support DRWF by making a donation here
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