Children with type 1 diabetes are forming friendships through a bond created by the condition at a new support group in Northern Ireland.
The T1 Club, which is based in Derry, is providing vital support to youngsters living with the condition.
Formed by parents who wanted their children to “meet socially, away from hospitals and clinics”, the group also aims to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes.
They meet once a month, with youngsters from across the North West of the country attending.
Edelle Irwin’s son Shane is now 11 and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago. Edelle told the Derry Journal: “We are all parents of ‘wee ones’ with type 1 diabetes and what we did was we got together to take them out so they could meet each other and develop friendship. The wee ones picked the T1 name themselves and we meet up once a month.”
The club also comes as a response to increasing numbers of children in the country who are being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Edelle added: “Medically the children get check-ups once every two months and the medical support is brilliant. There is a parents’ support group but my view and the view of the families and children coming is that the children need a bit of support. Through the club, they are building friendships.
“This takes them out of the clinical environment and they are all checking their blood sugars together. It’s normalising what they have to do.”
The club is supported by Oakleaf Medical Practice in Derry as well as pharmacies. People from the community have also helped, the club’s logo coming courtesy of a volunteer.
The next meeting takes place on Sunday, March 25 at 11am. For further details, visit the group’s Facebook page by searching ‘T1 CLUB Children’s Diabetes Group Facebook’.
With more than 250,000 on our Diabetes Forum, people with type 1 diabetes can also get support from others living with the condition through the online community.

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