Departing Prime Minister Theresa May has paid tribute to children with type 1 diabetes and the bravery of those who live with diabetes.

Mrs May, who has type 1 diabetes herself, hosted the Diabetes Charities Reception at Downing Street on Monday for diabetes charities, the NHS and people with type 1 diabetes.

During her speech Mrs May referred to the “shock” she experienced when she was diagnosed and how “forever grateful” she will be for those who helped her come to terms with her diabetes.

She also referred to the significant changes that have been made in diabetes care in recent years, including the introduction of the FreeStyle Libre, which she wears.

Continuous glucose monitoring will be available on the NHS by 2020/21 for all pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, a decision which Mrs May praised.

She paid tribute to all those who were invited to the receptio, adding: “This really is a chance for me to say a very personal thank you. To those of you working to raise awareness and funding for research. To those working on innovations, treatments and exploring possible cures. And to those of you who care for people living with diabetes and provide the support so that they can live the best possible lives.”

She added: “I also particularly want to mention the children we have here with us – and who I know have achieved some extraordinary things – in sport, in raising awareness, and through their invaluable contribution to our understanding about how we can better help and treat people with diabetes.”

She ended her speech with a quote from Olympic Gold medal winner Steve Redgrave who she said gave her good advice when she was diagnosed.

Ms May said: “It’s one I’ve quoted before – but it’s a good one – so I think it bears repeating, ‘Diabetes must learn to live with me rather than me live with diabetes.'”

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