Blue Circle Diabetes Group - Supporting Other's Because We're #InItTogether

As I've mentioned numerous time's in different blog's, that the International Diabetes Federation Europe camp in Tirrenia, Italy was one of the best experiences I've ever had. But whilst I very much enjoyed the camp the aim of being invited to attend a diabetes leadership camp was that amongst making new friends and forming new relationships. The point was also to return back to the UK and become a leader myself or at the very least lead the way towards making life a little bit easier for others with diabetes with what I'd learnt.

What really surprised me was that I knew how I wanted to achieve this, before the plane from Italy had even touched back on home soil. I decided that I wanted to create a support group for young people living with diabetes in my area. But I didn't want it to be any kind of group that just met every week to talk, I wanted it to be one that suited the people that were to benefit from it...

So the initial concept I thought of, was that it would be all about the 'social' side of support. What I mean by this is that I'd witnessed the fact time and time again that when people with diabetes came together, something awesome happens. We instantly find something to talk about in our shared experiences whether it's diabetes related or not. So I thought that if the support group met to do sociable informal things such as getting food together or going bowling, then the support would follow. I thought that every 6 weeks was a realistic amount of time to meet, with so many potential members being students or full-time employed.

My next step was to think about getting some help, because when you break it down- creating a support group is a lot of work. So my first port of call was Mike- my neighbour and friend that I'd met at the young persons project #YPP days for Diabetes UK. We put our heads together and he came up with the great idea that the group could be roughly aimed at 18-30. Because we'd both attended support groups in the past for young children when we were in children's clinic. We'd also attended some not so wonderful support groups for people much older than us. Both were great for the people involved and at the right age, but talking about this made us realise that there was a 'gap in the market' for a support group that dealt with young professionals, students and adults. We realised there were key issues and rights of passage that were specific to this age group that only others the same age might really understand. And most importantly be able to give support with.

To be able to tell other people we knew, with diabetes about it we had to think of a name for the support group. After much consideration and brain storming we decided the name Blue Circle Diabetes Support Group or BCDG for short. The reason why we chose this name was that the blue circle was the inspiration for the group and has the meaning that firstly it represents diabetes internationally, secondly blue is the colour that joins so many of the diabetes associations especially in the UK and the group is all about networking and joining together. And finally the circle itself it represents a circle of trust and honesty which is fundamental for a support group where people can speak openly and not worry about judgement. Something else that I've learnt through my place in different diabetes groups in the UK and Europe.

Then we needed a logo to represent the group, this was a really tricky one as a blue circle is a very simple logo. But it could be represented in so many different ways that it was difficult to pick one. Did we go for a blue circle on it's own or did we go for many. Or to go for no circles at all and just have writing? Well once again we thought about what we wanted the group to represent and this helped us decide on three modern and different colour blue circles all over-lapping. The effect was that of a kaleidoscope representing the many different people that we hope will join the support group when it's up and running. And in helping each other out with managing their diabetes. And who we also hope will work together to improve the lives of other people with diabetes.

Look out for the next blog on how the first meeting went!


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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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