Published on 20 May 2022

After two years of hosting online and virtual activities, we were delighted to welcome around 150 delegates to the first Diabetes Wellness Day South since 2019.

The event was held at the Solent Hotel and Spa, Whiteley, Hampshire on 14th May

We were amazed at the response to our call for registrations early on this year, as we had no real idea how many people would be interested in coming back together at a face-to-face meeting.  

Understandably, many people are still very cautious about Covid-19 and avoiding large gatherings. Additionally, we were concerned that a loss of confidence in meeting people socially after so long, would be limiting. However, the enthusiasm from our diabetes community was wonderful and within a safe and inclusive environment they were able to participate in a programme of diabetes talks, take part in a taster Tai Chi session and browse our exhibitor stands.

DRWF staff group photo

It was great to see old friends and new faces at the event. We were well supported by local diabetes teams, with Consultant Diabetologist Dr Mayank Patel leading our programme talking us through advances in diabetes care and treatment over the last 100 years.

Dietitians Sarah Woodman, Georgette Alayyan and Lauren Holloway from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust provided diet and diabetes expertise and we were fortunate to have representation from Lisa Thain, David Matthews, Lydia Blackshaw and Rebecca Delicate of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Diabetic Eye Screening Programme who facilitated a session on eye health.

Taster tai chi sessions run by Julie Weeks were held outside on the lawn of our venue, the Solent Hotel in Whiteley, as it was a beautiful, sunny, day in every sense.

We can’t thank everyone that participated enough. Our healthcare professionals volunteer their time to facilitate these events and at what remains a very demanding time, they were only too willing to do so. Feedback received so far has been really positive.

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Dr Mayank Patel talking at our wellness day.

Our next Diabetes Wellness Day is at Chesford Grange Hotel and Spa in Warwickshire on 24th September and if recent experience is anything to go by, we can look forward to another exciting day with members of the Midlands diabetes community.

Whilst we have a full schedule of face-to-face activities planned for this year, we envisage running a blended programme of online and offline events for the foreseeable future. Both have merit of their own and enable us to connect with wider audiences to provide peer support and education.  

DRWF staffer Karen with wellness day attendee.
DRWF volunteer and exhibitor at our wellness day 2022.

We hope you will join us at a future event!

Read more at DRWF Educational and Fundraising Events in 2022: Getting back together again to support people living with diabetes
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