Best peer-to-peer support initiative
The highs & lows children’s choir
by Leicester Royal Infirmary
The highs & lows is a choir for children age between 7-16 who have, or live with someone with, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The idea was to offer the children and their parents support from the diabetes team in a non-clinical setting and for the children and parents to offer support to one another. It helps them understand that diabetes should not hold them back and for that one hour a week they can be the same as their friends. They are taught how to breathe properly, sing, perform and have fun, while meeting other children with diabetes and realising they are not alone or abnormal. Parents also have the opportunity to meet and socialise, make new friends and discuss their lives with diabetes.
"Judges’ liked that this is a simple and original idea which gives the children confidence to be themselves and not just “a patient”. It is unique and being family orientated, builds trust between children, young people, parent groups and HCPs, which can be an additional support for years to come."
Sugar Buddies: demonstrating the need for flexible peer support
by West Hampshire Community Diabetes Service, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
People with diabetes in Hampshire have access to several organisations, charities and online communities for help and support, however none focus specifically on the newly diagnosed or provide a one-to-one ‘buddy’. Being newly diagnosed with diabetes is a life-changing event which can lead to people feeling vulnerable, confused and alone. Peer support is increasingly recognised as vital for health and wellbeing. Sugar Buddies are trained volunteers who provide support through a variety of media, enhanced by group learning and socialising. Their primary role is to support and signpost, not to provide medical advice, although all Buddies have first-hand experience of diabetes and have a health professional mentor, with a mission to prevent negative experiences and increase positive health outcomes.
initiative was well described and a great success, with clear outcomes."
Advocate for rights of children in education
by T1 rights at school group
T1 rights at school is a voluntary group which advises and supports parents who need help with their child’s care at school, not least with making sure they are fully included in all aspects of school life. Its activities include a Facebook group for people to discuss and raise grievances, which has over 1,500 members. It is also used for advice and support regarding school issues, to share information and to create awareness of the rights of our children at school. Advice is sought daily on all aspects of school life, including discrimination against pupils with Type 1 diabetes. There have been a lot of successes from the school group including supporting parents to gain an Education, Health and Care Plan and providing help in some disability discrimination cases.
"This is an extremely personal project, with some fantastic planning and lots of work has been put in by dedicated stakeholders. Support is readily available and judges liked the archived documentation."