Gwent Annual Families Meeting Event

This week I was asked by the dietitians at the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport, to come and give a presentation to children, parents and healthcare professionals at their family evening event held at Cwmbran athletics stadium. The evening was really well organised by the healthcare professionals of the Gwent and was designed to be an evening of fun, information and education, held outside of the clinical environment.

The event started with an inspiring talk from Dr Shetty; paediatric diabetes consultant based at the Royal Gwent hospital, who talked about what the clinic has achieved over the past year and what it’s hoping to achieve in the future. I found the talk particularly interesting because the things that the clinic wanted to improve on in the upcoming months, were things that I’ve been actively seeking to improve within clinics for the last few years. One of the aims for the future was to add a psychologist into clinics as part of the paediatric diabetes care package. I believe that this role is integral in the pursuit of supporting both the mental and physical aspects of diabetes. I think that if this service could start when a child is diagnosed with diabetes, then the child and perhaps parents would be much more equipped to deal with future scenarios, diabetes related or not. Also after attending the IDF European leadership camp, I became acutely aware that there was psychological provision available for people with diabetes around Europe as part of their clinical setting. But that in this matter, the UK was quite behind.

This was followed by some great talks from consultants and dieticians from the Royal Gwent Hospital's paediatric and transitional diabetes care departments. One of which was from dietitian Elaine, who I had the pleasure of seeing as a patient myself a few years ago, as her knowledge of sport, dietetics and diabetes along with Jill another brilliant dietitian (and former GB athlete), really helped me. Then it was my turn to deliver my presentation. Because the audience was a mixture of age ranges and people with and without diabetes along with healthcare professionals, I set out to explain about a little of what I’ve accomplished in sport and how I achieved it with diabetes. But perhaps most importantly I aimed deliver some top tips that I have discovered over the last decade participating in sport, that might inspire young people with diabetes to do sport. Also to encourage parents to help support their children within their sporting pursuit. I’ll be putting some of my slides up from the presentation in the proceeding few days. As they contain information breakdowns such as what I eat on training days and how blood sugars behave in relation to different types of training.

My talk was then followed by an interesting one from Paul Coker on how diabetes treatments have evolved over the past 40 years. Also a talk from Diabetes UK Cymru director Dai Williams, reaching out to parents to form a network that would open the channels of communication between themselves and healthcare professionals. The evening then concluded with a charity raffle at the end of the night. After the event finished I stayed behind to speak to parents and the healthcare professionals from the Gwent. One really good question was from a healthcare professional that wanted to know at which point I started to want to turn my diabetes care around and become independent with managing the condition. The question really got me thinking and so I plan to devote a whole blog to the answer this in detail in the future. But on that note I thought the event was a great success and a very relaxed way for children, parents and their healthcare professionals to communicate away from clinic. I would definitely recommend attending a future event like this held by the great team at the Gwent or other health boards, as I found the experience really valuable.

Delivering my sport and diabetes education presentation


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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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