Just DUK 1T is a Sweet Success

Yesterday saw the exciting launch of a brand new website for young people with Type 1 diabetes in Scotland. And I was fortunate enough to be amongst others, that were invited to Glasgow to witness the launch of the site, and to give a talk as a guest speaker for the event.

Only a short flight over from where I live, I hopped on a plain and flew up to Glasgow the night before,to meet some fellow Welsh colleague's in the hotel. In addition to us there was as a representative from England and some of the Just DUK 1T group members. The group of committed young people, are led by Diabetes UK Scotland young people's co-ordinators Laura Sharpe and Scott MacJucas- Paton. Both who over the last year have encouraged and assisted the team of teenagers and young adults, in working together to offer peer support and work on great projects such as the Just DUK 1T website. Their passion for the project and enthusiasm at the the fantastic work the young people are doing was clear for all to see.

Initially the Just DUK 1T members came together through a call for input into resources for young people, by the charity Diabetes UK Scotland. I believe they felt that an update was needed for the tools that were available to young people, with regard to support and information on diabetes. Their call was answered by many young people aged from their mid teens to late twenties and they answered from all around Scotland. The brief at first for the young people was to decipher the key messages to be found in the 'Making Connections' booklet. Making Connections was a resource that was created years ago, on numerous topics concerning living with diabetes as a young person. So they were tasked with updating it and re-delivering it in a more modern and youthful way.

The method that was decided upon by the group, was to create an informative website for young people. A website that could replace the booklet and act as a reference guide and resource for people with Type 1 diabetes. The group decided to call themselves Just DUK 1T. And we were told at the launch yesterday that along with the tag line 'DUK the highs, DUK the lows DUK diabetes'. The name was inspired by the concept of just getting on with living with diabetes. Because although difficult sometimes to live with, there is support out there. Members of the group gave funny, moving and very informative speeches about the background of the group and what the website was all about.

I was then asked to give a presentation, that was all about delivering a positive message about young people in the press and not letting diabetes get in the way of what you want to achieve. I also spoke about the future of diabetes being in the hands of young people. And about how tools such as social media would be of the up most use and importance in engaging the diabetes online community in getting behind the cause of peer support in the future. One of the other reasons that I was invited was that development of young people is not just something that is going on in Scotland, although their doing it very well- it's also going on in Wales too.

How I came to be involved with the Just DUK 1T team website launch was through one of their member's Dani, who I met for the first time this year as part of the Young Leader's Action Group or YLAG, in London. Which is a Diabetes UK group that represents young people from across the UK living with Type 1 diabetes. I started to get to know Dani and also Kevin who is also a Just DUK 1T member there. And they mentioned this website and group that they'd been working on. I then went to Italy to the IDF conference with Dani 5 weeks ago, at which point momentum was really gathering with the work they'd been doing.

Diabetes UK Scotland have been kind enough to want to include the other regions around the UK including Wales in their young people's website. By allowing each region to add their input on regional variations to the site. This is in order to make the site relevant to young people with diabetes throughout the country. It's a really exciting prospect and the plan now looking forward is to go back to the young people's representatives in Wales and ask them what content they feel would be most helpful on the website. But all in all the launch went wonderfully well, it was a pleasure meeting the inspirational people that have all played their part in making the website. I wish Just DUK 1T and their website every success for the future. We need to believe in young people with diabetes because we're #InItTogether and this is our shared future.

If you'd like to see for yourself check out the Just DUK 1T website 

You can also follow them on twitter under the name of @JUSTDUK1T

........ and like their facebook page too!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.


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