Bristol Diabetes Support Network

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Bristol Diabetes Support Network

 Bristol Diabetes Support Network   Latest updates:

  1. August Update added 21st August 16
  2. Help with a research study added 5th June 16
  3. May Update added 2nd May 16
  4. Flying with Diabetes added 11th Mar 16
  5. March Update added 10th Mar 16
  6. January Update added 1st Feb 16
  7. 2016 Meetings updated 5th Feb 16

Supporting people to self manage

August Update

Dear All

I hope you are enjoying a good summer, despite the unpredictable weather. It has been quiet this last couple of months but with September approaching, here is an update on the Diabetes Support Network.

Bristol West has a session with the British Red Cross on 18th August at the Westbury Primary Practice on Westbury Hill starting at 2pm.

Bristol Central, the drop in for people with Type 1 diabetes, meets at the Bristol Hotel on Prince Street on 13 September. Please join us for a drink and a chat anytime between 5.45 and 8pm.

Bristol East is meeting to hear about how to live successfully with arthritis on 17th September at 2 pm at the Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road, Fishponds.

Bristol South meets on 26th September at Knowle West Health Park, Downton Road, Knowle to learn about how to become involved in research into diabetes. A researcher is looking for people with diabetes to help design a research study.

Dundry View drop in is on 12th September. Please join us for a drink and a chat at Hartcliffe Nursery School and Children's Centre, 4 Hareclive Rd, Hartcliffe, Bristol, BS13 0JW

Research Opportunities

  1. Alice Mason, who works at the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit at Bristol University, is looking for people with a Body Mass index of 28 or over, to take part in a study looking at dietary behaviours. They will pay £30 for a two hour session. If you are interested, please contact Alice on 0117 33 17808, email
  2. If you can't make the Bristol South meeting on 26 September and would like to know about research into how to help health professionals give useful advice about diet to people with Type 2 diabetes, then please contact Clare England,, who is planning a research project into this.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes is looking at how to improve standards in diabetes care. The final meeting is on 7 September when the group will look at case studies from Clinical Commissioning Groups that have developed effective systems of care. If you would like to know more, the link is

We are starting to plan our programme for next year so if there are any topics you would like to hear about or any other ideas then please contact us.

With best wishes

Sandra Tweddell

Co-ordinator, Bristol Diabetes Support Network

Research Study

Do you have Type 2 diabetes? Would you be interested in helping the University of Bristol & the University Hospitals Bristol NHS plan a research study?

More infomation - needs adobe reader.

Update May 2016


Bristol South held a well attended meeting at the end of April, learning about the possible benefits of the Mediterranean diet from Angeliki Papadaki who researched the benefits to people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

The next meeting is on 27th June when Agata Palmer will look at how living with diabetes can affect your mental health.

Bristol Central met at the beginning of April where lively discussion took place on a variety of subjects including the possibility of having some sort of circus entertainment as people with Type 1 are constantly juggling their control!

The next drop in is on 7 June from around 5.45 until 8 pm at the Bristol Hotel, Prince Street, Bristol

Bristol West will meet on 19 May to hear Alastair McFarlane discussing how to incorporate simple exercise as a way of helping to control blood glucose levels.

Bristol East also has a focus on easy exercise when it meets on 21 May.

The next drop in at Hartcliffe is on 18 May at 1.30 and the drop in at Withywood on 9 May from 10.30 until 11.30.

On May 15th as part of the Bristol Walkfest, we are holding our walk around the Harbourside, starting at 10.30 at the globe in Millennium Square. It is a flat, gentle walk with lots of possible coffee stops. If you do not feel like completing the whole walk, you can take a short cut by taking a ferry back to Millennium Square.

The National Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme was launched in May. This is aimed at those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes UK run Know Your Risk days when they take a large blue bus into city centres and run through a questionnaire that gives a score into how likely you are to develop Type 2 diabetes in the next ten years. They are always looking for volunteers to train as risk score assessors or to help on the bus. The day is fun and gives a sense of achievement as many people see a high risk score as a wake up call. If you are interested, you can ring Gemma Jackson in the Taunton office to find out more. Her email address is and the phone number 01823 448260.

You can find out more about the Bristol Diabetes Support Network and our full programme on or by ringing 0117 930 9986. Our Facebook page is Diabetes Bristol Voluntary Groups.

Flying with Diabetes

Here are the results of a survey into flying with diabetes. Makes for interesting reading.

flying with diabetes

Update March 2016


Bristol West is holding its bi-monthly walk on March 17th. We will meet at 10.30 am at the new bus stop on Parry's Lane on the Downs. The walk is flat and we stop for coffee (and sometimes an ice cream!) at the cafe in Canford Park. We are usually back around midday.

Bristol East; unfortunately we have had to cancel the meeting on 19 March due to two committee members not being able to attend and lack of committee members to set up and organise the meeting. If you are willing to come along and help do this in the future, you are more than welcome. The speaker has been booked for the next meeting on 21 May.

Bristol Central will meet at The Bristol Hotel on Prince Street on April 5th. I won't be there but Jane and Sue are happy to lead if it's needed. If you have ideas as to where we can meet in future then please let me know. The Bristol Hotel is comfortable but there can be a lot of noise when guests congregate and refreshments are expensive. We need somewhere that is quiet, ie no music and can offer refreshments.

Bristol South has a researcher from Bristol University talking about research into the Mediterranean diet on the 25 April.

The next drop in at Hartcliffe is on 18 March at 1.30 and the drop in at Withywood on 7 March from 1.30. We are waiting to hear about funding to see if we can continue with these two groups.

Yesterday the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes launched its next investigation entitled Diabetes Care; Improving Standards and Reducing Variation. It was an interesting meeting and four people, two Type 1 and two Type 2 gave powerful evidence of variations in care based on their experiences.

Points raised were to do with the need for more involvement from pharmacies and GPs, more training for all GPs into diabetes, lack of diabetes education for people with diabetes and the importance of new technology in improving control. Inevitably given the higher proportion of people with Type 2 diabetes, there was more representation on behalf of people with Type 2 and the words prevention of diabetes were used a lot, not prevention of Type 2 diabetes.

The Group wants to hear evidence from people with diabetes so if you would like to email with examples of your experiences, either positive or negative, then please do. I feel it is important that our voice is heard, especially from the minority with Type 1. The responses will be used for a report to be presented to government. The email address is No final date for giving evidence was mentioned.

You can find out more about this on

Update January 2016

Empowering people to self-manage

Update January 2016

The new year begins with some excellent news for people with diabetes in the South West. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England announced that the West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) has been successful in applying to be part of trials to improve the self management of people with diabetes through the use of technology. Here is an extract from the press release.


Patients in the West of England will be among the first to benefit from a major new drive to modernise how the NHS delivers care, as announced today (Friday 22nd) by NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) will be leading the way in NHS innovation, as part of a pioneering 'Test Bed' with partners including the regional healthcare community, Corsham Institute, Diabetes UK, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Ki Performance, LeLan and SocialDiabetes, Maymyhealth, Oviva, Rescon, ROutcomes, Soupdragon Resources, and HEOR.

As part of the 'Diabetes Digital Coach' test bed, people with diabetes and frontline health and care workers across the West (with a patient population size of 2.4 million) will pioneer and evaluate opportunities to work with the 'Internet of Things' through using remote monitoring and coaching technology for better self-management.

You can read more on the NHS England website

WEAHSN wants to involve up to 12,000 people with all types of diabetes. More information will follow.

Bristol Five Year Diabetes Transformation Plan
The foci for this year are footcare, education and developing the H G Wells project. The latter involves a number of surgeries evaluating the care they give to people with Type 2 diabetes and seeing if it could be improved. Consideration of care for people with Type 1 diabetes will follow later.

Bristol East AGM
We are very sorry to lose Andy Williams as chair of the group. Andy has been a popular chair and has brought exciting ideas to the East group through a wide range of speakers on interesting topics. His infectious enthusiasm has inspired fellow committee members, the Bristol Network, not forgetting the membership of the East group.

We are delighted to welcome Jane Ibbunson as the new chair as she brings a background of experience in charity work amongst other expertise.

Mike Bird, the treasurer has done a sterling job in maintaining the accounts and checking that we meet the requirements of the Charity Commission. We were saddened to hear of his resignation and would like to thank him for the work he has done for the group. Mike will still be attending meetings.

We are therefore in need of a new treasurer to record the accounts and keep an eye on our spending. If anyone is willing to give up a couple of hours of their time Jane or I would be happy to have a chat, please see the contacts below.

Future meetings of the groups
The programme for the year is on the meetings page but meetings in February are;

Tuesday 2 Feb Bristol Central

drop in for people with Type 1 diabetes 17.45 to around 20.00. The Bristol Hotel, Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QF. A chance to meet others informally including sometimes researchers and practice nurses.

Monday 8 Feb Bristol South Hartcliffe

drop in 10.30 - 12.00 Symes Community Building, Peterson Square, Hartcliffe, Bristol BS13 OBE. Join others with diabetes to chat over tea or coffee.

Thursday 18 Feb Bristol West

14.00 - 16.00. Kizzy Harris, Diabetes and Nutrition Services Manager is explaining the services offered by her team. Westbury on Trym Primary Care Surgery, Westbury Hill, BS9 3AA

Monday 22 Feb Bristol South Withywood

drop in 10.30 - 11.30 The Withywood Centre. Queens Road. Bristol. BS13 8QA. Join others with diabetes to chat over tea or coffee.

We would be very pleased to hear from you if you have any ideas for our meetings, and even more pleased to hear from possible treasurers! Once again, if you do not wish to continue to receive emails from me, then please let me know.

All good wishes

Sandra Tweddell

Co-ordinator, Bristol Diabetes Support Network

24 January 2016


Is a UK online community for people run by people with diabetes for people with diabetes and their parents, carers, partners, friends, employer or family member.

On line tweet chats take place each Wednesday at 9 pm.

For more details see:

Type 1 Diabetes Blogger in Bristol

The large majority of diabetics have the more common Type 2 diabetes, this is a condition where insulin production slowly declines &/or insulin resistance slowly increases. In Type 1 diabetes insulin production declines to nothing very quickly indeed.

Twenty years after diagnosis, below is a blog from a family coping with Type 1 diabetes. The Bristol support group do give our thanks to Mike, Jane, Beth and Ellen for sharing this.

Living with diabetes - every day ups and downs. A collection of thoughts, observations, comments and questions from a family sharing there thoughts on living with type 1 Diabetes in the UK.

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