On Saturday 23rd January Diabetes Guernsey will be hosting its first Drop-In morning at the EyeCare Opticians in the arcade, allowing people to pop in and assess their risk of diabetes, discuss any worries or concerns with nurses and learn what the charity does.
Diabetes Guernsey is a local charity that aims to help people to ‘live well’ with diabetes, providing people with all types of diabetes with support along with their loved ones. The charity is working hard to raise awareness of diabetes and educate islanders within the Bailiwick.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar levels to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin – and type 2, where the body doesn’t make enough insulin, or the insulin doesn’t work properly.
The Drop-In will run from 9am to 1pm, and the charity’s aim is to start a conversation surrounding diabetes and raise awareness of the symptoms to look out for, especially for type 2 diabetes. It is hard to quantify exactly how many people in the Bailiwick have type 2 diabetes, however, the ratio of type 1 diabetes to type 2 diabetes is approximately 1:9 meaning there are likely to be over 3,000 people with Type 2 diabetes in the Bailiwiick.
There will be a number of knowledgeable professionals and charity representatives at the event to greet anyone who pays a visit, including two nurses from the Diabetic Team who will be on hand to answer questions and carry out diabetes risk questionnaires. The questionnaire asks targeted questions to assess your risk level and whether you should see your GP for a more definitive test.
Matt Ferguson, Co-Chair of Diabetes Guernsey, says: “We’re delighted to be hosting this Drop-In event, which we hope will be the first of many. The charity is made up of people with diabetes, so we’re in a great position to offer support to others in the Bailiwick.
“Often people may know of someone with diabetes or have been to school with someone who had it, but they don’t necessarily know the symptoms to look out for or how to assist someone who’s blood sugar levels are too high or too low.
“We want to educate people on this and provide a support network for those with diabetes. You never get a break from diabetes, which can take a serious toll on your mental health, so speaking to others who understand is invaluable”.
There will some delicious low-carb biscuits, kindly provided by the Guernsey-based Unikorn Lowcarb Bakery. The bakery specialises in making quality bread, pastries and biscuits that are low in carbohydrates – perfect for those with diabetes who have to keep track of their carb intake. Optician Jay Saha who is hosting the event will also be on hand to answer any diabetes eye-related questions.
Diabetes can cause serious complications with people’s eyesight and can lead to blindness, as such people with diabetes need to maintain their eye health. Jay Saha is generously offering 10% off any eye tests booked in store on Saturday 23rd January.
Matt concludes: “If this Drop-In encourages just one person who is presenting as being at risk of developing diabetes to get checked by their doctor, or inspires someone to take better control of the condition, then we will have achieved what we set out to do. We just want to let all diabetics in the Bailiwick know that they aren’t alone, and we are here to support them”.