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24 October 2017

News from Europe

United Kingdom: Toolkit to empower young adults

UKMaking the transition from childhood to adulthood is a complicated time for any young person.  The added pressure of managing a long-term condition such as type 1 diabetes can make the journey that much more tumultuous. When deciding how best to address these challenges, Diabetes UK wants to highlight the importance of empowering young people themselves to find solutions.

Working together to identify barriers which prevent some young people from engaging with their diabetes transition clinics, the Making Connections group of 16-25 year olds helped develop a practical toolkit featuring case studies and guidance which young people could relate to. The toolkit was designed to enable better relationships between healthcare professionals and young people with type 1 diabetes.

To give healthcare professionals a greater understanding of the real needs and experiences of young people with diabetes, training workshops were co-delivered by members of the making Connections group. The toolkit has been delivered in four pilot areas so far:  NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Fife, NHS Forth Valley and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. To date, 58 healthcare professionals have been trained in youth engagement across the four areas.

Further online resources have been developed by young people with diabetes for young people with diabetes across the UK. Diabetes UK’s #Type1Uncut offers a selection of factsheets which are free to download as well as a YouTube channel featuring a series of videos discussing the various issues which young people with type 1 diabetes face. 

In Scotland, the Mighty DUKs young people’s group, so named after their online resource JUST DUK 1T, is offering information and advice through their website, www.justduk1t.org.uk.  The website is not only about providing facts, but also connecting young people, empowering them to take control of their type 1, and not allowing the condition to control them. The overall aim of JUST DUK1T is to ensure young people have optimal knowledge of their condition, and to inspire them to overcome any barriers they may face.

More information about Type 1 Uncut can be found here. For more information about JUST DUK1 and the Making Connections initiative, please go to their website