October 2015 Newsletter

St Helens & District Group

Welcome to this evening`s meeting, we are delighted to welcome 2 of our own members to speak and entertain us! You could say we`re getting two for the price of one! Alan Melville is going to talk to us about Living with diabetes for 70 years and Les Jones is going to provide some diabetes-themed music! Alan and Les both have diabetes themselves. Some of you might remember Alan being presented with the DUK John Macleod medal at our meeting in April 2014. This was to mark the fact that he has been living with diabetes for over 70 years! Alan, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1944 and has been described as a recycled teenager! is in the process of putting the finishing touches to a book he is writing, called “The last injection”.

Opportunity to Take Part  in Diabetes Research, Prof Neil Reeves gave us a very interesting talk at our Sept meeting, about the research they are doing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prof Reeves and his team are trying to understand more about falls and foot problems in diabetes. They are currently doing research to try and prevent foot ulcers in people with diabetes. Research participants are given thin insoles to wear in their shoes, these provide information on how much pressure they apply to their feet during their daily lives. With regard to falls, they are electronically analysing the way the participants walk, and trying to understand more about what causes some people to fall. Travel can be arranged for participants, or travel expenses paid. If you would like to find out more about participating in this research, please phone Prof Reeves on 0161 247 5429, or email N.Reeves@mmu.ac.uk

DUK Xmas Catalogues are available at the front, Sorry, I know it`s only Oct! Just submit your own order and it will be delivered to your home. Alternately you can visit the DUK online shop at shop.diabetes.org.uk where you will find a big selection of diabetes-related products, Xmas cards and gifts. Shopping with DUK helps raise funds to continue the valuable work of helping the 3.9 million people with diabetes.

Update of our group`s committee members Joyce Edwards has recently stepped down. We would like to pass on our thanks to Joyce for all her help over the last 18 months, Joyce will still be coming to our meetings and has kindly offered to continue helping with the setting up and tidying away. We are now delighted to welcome Barbara Graves to our committee. Many of us know Barbara as she has been the Team Leader for the Prescot Big Collection for the last few years.

Good News – our group now has its own website! Many thanks to Kris, who has been working very hard setting this up. It has details of all our meetings, the latest newsletter and info about our group. To access it go to www.st-helens-and-district.diabetesukgroup.org

Mailings to DUK members about our programme of  meetings should have been sent out, or emailed to all local members by Diabetes UK in the last month. Please tell Cherry if you did not receive one. Thank you! 

If you have been diagnosed with Diabetic Neuropathy and feel that your current treatment is not easing your pain. You may be able to take part in a clinical trial that`s taking place at St Helens Hospital. The trial aims to investigate the potential of an innovative drug for chronic pain conditions, like neuropathy. Pharmaleads, the company leading the trial, wants to recruit patients with diabetes to take part in the 4 week study, which could help change the future impact of the disease. The trial will investigate a new drug called PL37, which can prolong the body’s own natural painkillers. Anyone with diabetes who feels their current pain treatment is unsatisfactory, can ask their Dr if they can be referred to the investigative site at St Helens Hospital. For further details take an information sheet from the front.  

Winter is coming, so don`t let the flu catch you! Anyone over the age of 65 or with a long-term condition like diabetes can be more susceptible to flu, and its possible complications, such as: bronchitis, pneumonia and raised blood sugar levels. Now is the time to protect yourself against it. The good news is that people with diabetes are entitled to a free annual flu jab. Book your appointment asap, most GP practices are running special Flu clinics now. The sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you are protected! If you are between 70 and 79 you are also entitled to an inoculation against shingles.

Changes to key roles in DUK, Barbara Young has stepped down from her post as Chief Executive in Sept, after 5 years in the role. Chris Askew has now joined the charity as the new Chief Exec. Richard Lane will be stepping down as President of DUK at the end of 2015, after 10 years of wonderful commitment to the charity – 7 of which, as President. Richard is taking on a new role as Inaugural Ambassador.

Access to the Town Hall, if you have difficulty accessing the building via the steps, remember there is an alternative entrance with a lift, just by the phone box at the front. This is usually open for our meetings, but if it isn`t, you can phone 01744 676150 and someone will come down.

This year`s DUK  Volunteer Networking Day, is on Saturday 7th Nov, from 10am – 4pm, at Preston`s College, St Vincent`s Rd, Preston. PR2 8UR. The morning session will include updates on fundraising and developments in the NW, and a selection of workshops. The afternoon will be a choice of gentle, physical activities, some of which you may never have tried before! A free, enjoyable day, with opportunities to keep up to date with DUK, and find out what other Voluntary Groups get up to! To book a place,(including a free lunch!) phone the NW Office on 01925 653 281, or email Jessica.Graham@diabetes.org.uk

Details of next meeting

Date  . . . . . .  Wednesday 4th November 2015, 7.30pm.

Subject . . . .  Fruit and snacks with diabetes

Speaker  . . . . Lara Wessels, Diabetes Advanced Dietitian.