Our Work

Serving people with diabetes since 1967

Diabetes Ireland is the national charity dedicated to helping people with diabetes. We achieve this by providing support, education and motivation to everyone affected by diabetes. Diabetes Ireland also raises public awareness of diabetes and its symptoms and funds research into finding a cure for diabetes.
Living with diabetes is not easy! However, with the right help, advice and support, there is no reason why Irish people with diabetes cannot live life to the full. This is our goal and each year through our patient education and information services we provide that support to thousands of Irish people with diabetes and their families when needed most.

Diabetes Ireland is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. The charity was formally set up in 1967 following a meeting attended by 750 people in the Mansion House, Dublin with the aim of obtaining free insulin and medications for all people with diabetes. The charity achieved this and from 1971 to today, everyone diagnosed with diabetes continues to access free diabetes medications under the Long Term Illness (LTI) scheme.

Our Services

  • Patient support via our telephone call 01 842 8118 and local support branches.
  • Information via our website, social media, literature and our magazine “Diabetes Ireland”, posted three time annually.
  • Support for children with diabetes and their parents through our Sweetpea Kidz Club; children and adolescent adventure activities; family weekends; and parent support groups.
  • Direct health education for people with diabetes through conferences and our community-based structured education programmes.
  • Financial services: negotiated motor and health insurance rates.
  • Advocacy and liaison with: clinics, services, the HSE and the Department of Health and Children.
  • Anti-discrimination activity.
  • Professional support via major annual multi-disciplinary conferences, practice support packs and our Diabetes Professional magazine.
  • Co-ordinating national and regional local diabetes awareness campaigns about the symptoms and risk factors for diabetes.
  • Health promotion initiatives including: schools awareness, workplace awareness, early detection and prevention initiatives and diabetes screening.
  • Funding Irish and international research via our subsidiary charity ‘Diabetes Ireland Research Alliance’ – diabetesresearch.ie

See Diabetes Ireland Annual Report 2016 for further information about our services

What are we doing?

During 2016, with the support of our volunteer branches, Diabetes Ireland held over 290 health promotion, education and support events nationwide. More than 5,800 people contacted our Diabetes Helpline and 304,750 visitors accessed our website and social media platforms. Through our Sweetpea Kidz Club and our Parents Support Groups around the country, we continued to provide opportunities for children, adolescents and their families to meet and make new friends and support each other.

Our Diabetes Care Centre in Santry continued to grow and we opened our second Care Centre in Cork where we will continue to develop and expand services in 2017.

We ran a campaign to create awareness around the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes and to encourage early diagnosis amongst GPs to help prevent Diabetic Ketoacidosis at diagnosis. The campaign included the launch of a Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms leaflet issued to all GPs, a radio advert highlighting the signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, a dedicated social media campaign and the placement of articles in professional and general media were used to educate and heighten diabetes awareness.

In 2017, we will be launching a new “Living Well with Type 1 Diabetes” booklet. Our Sweetpea Kidz Club and local Parent Support Groups will continue to provide support and events for our younger members and their families.  The National Diabetes Junior Cup and Teen Activity Day events will be held and the various Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes groups will continue to be supported. Work to increase awareness of Type 1 Diabetes as distinct from Type 2 diabetes will continue as will our work on developing “Best Practice Guidelines for Meeting the Care Needs of Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes During School Hours”.

We will also launch  Phase 2 of “Diabetes Smart”, the online interactive educational programme which enables people with Type 2 diabetes to access the basic knowledge and education they require to manage their condition as effectively as they can from the comfort of their own home will be expanded to include new sections on other aspects of Type 2 diabetes. Numerous public education meetings and the CODE programme will also be delivered nationwide.



Diabetes Prevention
In 2017 we will work on various health promotion projects to create awareness around diabetes and preventing Type 2 diabetes. One of these projects is a two year “Living Well Being Well” health promotion initiative with the Men Shed’s in Co.Westmeath and Co.Offally which will gain knowledge and understanding around the risks of diabetes and tools to help prevent the condition amongst this his risk group.

In conjunction with the Health Research Board, we have agreed to fund a Type 1 diabetes project led by Professor Tim O’Brien in Galway University Hospital. This Research project is focusing on developing stem cell based therapy for the treatment of diabetes related complications. The goal would be to enhance bone quality for diabetes patients but also help people experiencing diabetes kidney disease, nerve damage, heart disease and vision loss. The cost of this project is €224,000.

Additionally, in conjunction with the Irish Cancer society, Irish Heart Foundation, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Health Research Board, we are also funding a study undertaken by Dr David Hevey in Trinity College which will focus on working with adolescents in low socio-economic areas to promote healthy behaviours through making changes to develop positive habits in relation to smoking cessation, alcohol consumption and physical activity that will reduce their risk of developing chronic illness in later life. Diabetes Ireland Research Alliance will be actively fundraising to support these projects in 2017.

As well as maintaining current services, we are committed to growing our services long into the future. For further information on our plans see our 5 year strategy ‘Changing Lives 2016-2020’. The document is available to read here – Diabetes Ireland 5 Year Strategy.


The Governance Code
Diabetes Ireland has a responsibility to provide and follow a code of good practice when it comes to how our organisation is run. We are fully compliant to the Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland. The Governance Code is based on five main principles and Diabetes Ireland are committed to adhering to these principles. Our signed statement is available to view here – Code of Principles.
For more information on the Governance Code please click here.


Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising
Diabetes Ireland is committed to complying with the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising. The Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising is a guide to best practice developed by a steering group set up in response to the Charities Act 2009. To read more about our commitment to achieving the standards contained within the Statement for Guiding Principles for Fundraising here. Our work would not be possible without the continued support of our members and supporters. To join Diabetes Ireland click here. If you would like to make a donation please click here.