Serving People with Diabetes Since 1967
Diabetes Ireland is a national charity dedicated to helping people with diabetes. We achieve this by providing Support, Education, and Motivation to our community. Diabetes Ireland also raises public awareness of diabetes and its symptoms and supports, and funds research related to the causes, prevention, and cure of diabetes.
In 1957 efforts were made to get a diabetes charity off the ground. However, it wasn’t until 1967 that the momentum was established for the charity to become a reality. Over 750 people attended the first public meeting of the Irish Diabetic Association (now Diabetes Ireland) in Dublin.
One of its first goals and major successes was to obtain free medication for all people with diabetes in 1971. Today, that success still holds in that every person in Ireland diagnosed with diabetes can obtain free diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol medications under the Long-Term Illness scheme. Diabetes is one of only 16 conditions listed under the scheme saving every person with diabetes hundreds of euros each year.
Since then each year our organisation has gone from strength to strength as we identify and achieve annual goals. We have grown to become a strong and unified voice in advocating for better services for those with diabetes and influencing health policy in this area. The purchase of a state-of-the-art headquarters in Santry in 2013 considerably broadened our scope, enabling us to offer services directly to thousands of people with diabetes each year. The opening of a second Care Centre in Cork further strengthened our position in the community.
With our comprehensive support services, education programmes, health promotion initiatives, advocacy programmes, members’ magazines and other activities, we constantly strive to provide what our members need to optimally manage their diabetes. Today, our Aims are:
- to provide support, education, and motivation to people with diabetes, their families, and friends.
- to raise awareness of diabetes in the community and foster programmes for early detection and prevention of diabetes complications and its burden.
- to support and encourage advances in diabetes care and research that improves Quality of Life and Standards of Care.
Living with diabetes is not easy! However, with the right help, advice, and support, there is no reason why people with diabetes cannot live life to the full. This is our goal. Each year through our patient education and information services we provide that care and support to thousands of Irish people with diabetes and their families when needed most.
- Provide support and information to people with diabetes and their families via our Diabetes Helpline (01 8428118) Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm.
- Provide information via our website (www.diabetes.ie), social media, literature, and our magazine “Diabetes Ireland” which is delivered directly to members.
- Deliver regular “Diabetes Education” webinars and online programmes with practical information about the challenges of living with diabetes.
- Deliver our Type 2 diabetes structured education programme (CODE) to people living with Type 2 diabetes.
- Provide preventative podiatry (footcare) services in our Care Centres in Dublin and Cork. The HSE’s Diabetic Retinopathy Screening programme is also based in both centres.
- Provide a Counselling service (one-to-one) to people living with diabetes and their families.
- Advocate and influence public policy for improvements in public diabetes services nationwide and quicker access to new medications and technology that will help people with diabetes to improve the daily management of their condition.
- Provide advice on all aspects of insurance cover including mortgage protection, travel, and access to our private motor insurance scheme and anti-discrimination advice.
- Deliver a wide range of health promotion initiatives to increase awareness of diabetes including school awareness, workplace awareness, early detection, and prevention initiatives.
- Provide diabetes awareness and prevention education for public and private service providers caring for people with diabetes in Residential and Day Care settings.
- Provide support for children with diabetes and their families through our Sweetpea Kidz Club for children aged 2-10 years, teenage activities, family weekends, and parent workshops.
- Provide professional support to healthcare professionals via annual multi-disciplinary conferences and webinars, practice support packs, and the Diabetes & Cardiology Professional magazine.
- Promote, support, and fund research related to the causes, prevention, and cure of diabetes via our subsidiary charity Diabetes Ireland Research Alliance.
What did we achieve in 2022
During 2022, Diabetes Ireland continued to provide its services to the diabetes community ensuring that thousands of people continued to receive education, support, and motivation to maintain good management of their condition in these difficult times.
Likewise, the continuing support of our members and the diabetes community has helped Diabetes Ireland enormously in maintaining our services and for this, we are extremely grateful.
To support Diabetes Ireland, become a member today.
Advocacy was once again a main priority of Diabetes Ireland in 2022. Our aim is to see improved public services, better and quicker access to good quality of care, diabetes technology and medications, and better recognition of diabetes and the diabetes community by the Government and its public officials. Work is continuously ongoing to achieve improvements that will benefit the diabetes community.
Diabetes Ireland sees its Pre-budget 2023 priorities funded in the budget
Diabetes Ireland launched its 2023 Pre-budget submission in the summer of 2022 which proposed a number of immediate actions for implementation to improve the quality of life for over 295,000 people living with diabetes and reduce the long-term costs of preventable diabetes complications.
The submission focused on a range of deliverable actions that are person-centred, cost-effective, and built on existing HSE commitments to tackle chronic conditions including diabetes. See Pre-budget Submission 2023 here.
We were very encouraged by the number of people who submitted Parliamentary Questions to their TDs on one or more of these issues in question. The priorities were the need to provide immediate funding for the development of a National Diabetes Patient Register and regular auditing of diabetes clinical services so people with diabetes get access to similar standards of treatment and care regardless of where they live. Following a positive and engaging meeting with the Minister for Health in advance of the budget, we were delighted to see the budget allocated for a range of diabetes priorities. See supported developments here.
TDs and Senators asked to support the call for the setting up of a Diabetes Taskforce to develop a 10-Year National Diabetes Strategy
In September, at a meeting in Leinster House, Oireachtas members heard directly from people living with diabetes about the issues and the barriers they face in trying to effectively manage their condition to the best of their ability and about the difficulties faced trying to access HSE services and access new technologies primarily due to the lack of diabetes staffing resources around the country.
Diabetes Ireland also told members that to improve diabetes care, we need to collectively act now and look further down the road and decide what future care for people with diabetes will look like. Diabetes Ireland called for the setting up of a diabetes task force to develop a 10-year National Diabetes Strategy that provides vision, leadership and direction so that the HSE can recruit the staff required and improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes and reduce the long-term costs to the health service of diabetes complications.
Another priority is to ensure we continue to offer excellent support and services to people with diabetes and their families. In 2022, we aimed to deliver services to people with diabetes and their families by increasing awareness of diabetes and encouraging them to make positive lifestyle changes.
Become “Diabetes Smart”
In January 2022, Diabetes SMART was launched as a free interactive online education platform available at www.diabeteseducation.ie. Developed by Diabetes Ireland with support from Novo Nordisk, this free interactive programme was launched to meet increasing demand from people with Type 2 diabetes who want to learn more about their condition and how to manage it effectively.
The Diabetes SMART programme contains six interactive modules, covering topics that explain What Diabetes Is, Understanding the key Medical Information such as blood glucose levels, managing illness, and providing lots of tips on healthy eating and getting active. The course can be completed whenever and wherever suits can be paused, and continued at any time, and is accessible via a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
The programme has been developed by diabetes healthcare professionals to support a busy lifestyle and participants can pause their interactive learning at any stage of the journey and resume with ease. This resource will give people with Type 2 diabetes the knowledge and accessible tools to learn how to manage their condition from the comfort of their own homes and protect their future health.
Speaking about her Type 2 diabetes journey, Deirdre McTeigue who trialled the programme said: “I really liked the visuals and the videos. As I’m newly diagnosed, I’m finding it all a bit daunting, I like that I can go back and look at the diagrams /videos again. I also like that I can share the material with my husband and children so they can understand and better support me. Especially as it’s also online, I can share it with my family. I find that they are now more willing to come out walking with me and more encouraging with the diet. Having Diabetes is restrictive, but I now know very manageable, and we can’t say that about a lot of illnesses.”
Diabetes Smart is a valuable resource that will give newly diagnosed the opportunity to educate themselves about their condition and how to manage it effectively and will also act as a refresher programme for the thousands of people who are living with Type 2 diabetes for longer. It is also a good educational tool for GPs and health professionals to promote to their patients. To complete Diabetes SMART, click here.
Throughout the period, Diabetes Ireland continued to support people with diabetes by ensuring that our diabetes helpline, online, and social media channels remained open for anyone seeking help, support, and up-to-date practical diabetes management information.
We received 5,700 helpline calls in 2022 with a further 29,195 people receiving ongoing updates via our social media channels. With more people than ever seeking information online, we continued to enhance our website to provide more practical day-to-day information for living well with the condition with 193,600 visitors spending time on www.diabetes.ie.
Type 2 Structured Education Programme
Diabetes Ireland continued to provide virtual CODE programmes in 2022 delivering 26 programmes to 269 people. Feedback was extremely positive with participants enjoying the easy access from home. In 2023, a mix of in-person and virtual CODE programmes will be delivered giving participants the ability to choose a programme that suits them best. To register for CODE, click here.
Diabetes Ireland ran a campaign to highlight the need for people living with Diabetes to be aware of their kidney health. The campaign was launched in collaboration with the Irish Kidney Association. The campaign focused on raising awareness of the link between diabetes and kidney disease and highlighting that screening for kidney disease is a routine part of your diabetes care with your GP/diabetes team and encouraged all people with diabetes to discuss their risk of kidney disease with their Doctor or Nurse and ensure you take all the necessary steps to help your kidneys remain as healthy as possible. Learn more here.
Therefore, it is essential that you:
Check Kidney Function
Know your Kidney Numbers
Discuss with your Doctor or Nurse
New Guidelines for Managing Diabetes during School Hours
A new HSE booklet ‘Meeting the Care Needs of Primary School Children with Type 1 Diabetes during School Hours’ was launched in 2022. Diabetes Ireland disseminated the booklet to every school in the country. Our ‘Back to School’ awareness campaign was launched in August 2022, which aims to help teachers, SNAs, parents, and diabetes teams with the transition for children with diabetes heading back to school. A ‘Teacher and SNA Diabetes Training Day’ was held in conjunction with the paediatric diabetes in Cork University Hospital for individual schools in the area. Several other workshops were also held for teachers in other parts of the country.
More information is available to parents, teachers, schools, and SNAs on our website, click here.
Both our Diabetes Ireland Care Centres in Cork and Dublin continue to be extremely busy with an average of 70 clients per day accessing each centre. As well as providing podiatry, DiabeticRetina Screening and counselling services, the Centres are also a fantastic resource for people seeking support and information on the many facets of diabetes, for both people who may be recently diagnosed and for those living years with the condition and who need some additional support to manage their condition more effectively.
In 2022, 76% of our clients accessing our podiatry prevention service live daily with diabetes. To book an appointment click here or ring Cork at 021 4274229 or Dublin at 01 8428118.
See some of our fantastic 2022 fundraisers below:
If you would like to become a part of the journey, please visit our fundraising page here
Some of our 2022 service highlights in numbers were:
- 5,698 people contacted our Diabetes Helpline in 2022.
- 30% of callers sought information on diabetes management
- 58% sought information and support in accessing services.
- 2% sought specific information on advocacy and insurance
- 10% seeking information on a range of other issues.
The helpline team dealt directly with 97% of callers with 3% requiring referral to one of our healthcare professionals or to another agency.
- 5,700 people attended our podiatry (foot care) services in Dublin and Cork, 76% of whom live with diabetes.
- Each day around 110 people with diabetes attend their Diabetic RetinaScreen appointment in our Care Centres.
Website & Social Media
- 193,462 visitors accessed www.diabetes.ie, spending an average of 2 minutes on the site.
- Over 1,600 visitors completed our Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment online with 77% classified as either high or moderate risk.
- 29,195 people follow Diabetes Ireland on our range of social media platforms, an increase of 10% year on year. Follower reaches and engagement levels are increasing year on year.
- 18,000 people receive our monthly ezine.
Health Promotion & Events
- 269 people with Type 2 diabetes attended our virtual CODE education programmes in 2022, an increase from 2021. The development of the online CODE meant more people could attend as they were accessing from home, including more young people.
- 6,266 visitors to diabetes.ie “Diabetes Smart”, our online interactive educational programme. The Diabetes Smart programme is based on the principles of CODE for use by GPs and people at risk and/or diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
- 4 Education Webinars for people living with diabetes and their families all of which were very well attended were held throughout 2022.
- A 1-day virtual Health Awareness Exhibition & Conference was held to celebrate World Diabetes Day attended by hundreds of people living with diabetes and their families.
- 3 Virtual Conferences were successfully hosted for healthcare professionals supporting adults and children living with diabetes. Our Pregnancy Conference highlighted the need for effective pre-conception planning and pregnancy care for women with diabetes and Gestational diabetes.
- 2 Education Webinars were held for community and practice nurses on diabetes management, which were very well attended.
- A series of 8 Emotional Well-being virtual workshops held for Parents of Children & Adolescents living with Type 1 Diabetes and adults living with Type 1 diabetes.
- 28 Community Education Events delivered to a range of community groups and Workplace staff.
- 35 Carers Education Programme sessions delivered to the staff of Nursing Homes, Residential Homes, and Intellectual Disability Centres.
Our mission is to provide a quality service in improving the lives of people affected by diabetes and working with others to prevent and cure diabetes. Each year, we are one step closer to achieving this goal. Over the next five years, Diabetes Ireland will work to drive funding for improved access to care, education, and support in a meaningful way for all people living with diabetes across Ireland. We hope to build positive relationships and collaboration with those who share our mission to provide high-quality and equitable service for the diabetes community. To do this, we need the ongoing support of people with diabetes, their families, and our corporate partners.
To read the Diabetes Ireland 2022-2026 Strategy, click here.
We need your Support
There are many ways to support Diabetes Ireland and this year more than any other we need the 295,000 people who make up the strong diabetes community to support the charity and help us make a difference.
Our goal is to support, educate and motivate the diabetes community. The charity needs your personal support to do that. Saying that we cannot express enough our appreciation for the ongoing support we receive from fundraisers, healthcare professionals, members, employees, corporate supporters, and the HSE for helping us help our community. We must all continue to work together for the Diabetes Community in Ireland so we can all live a long and healthy life. So take the first step, become a member so we can mutually support each other and our community.
During the year, Diabetes Ireland Research Alliance with multidisciplinary research teams, academic students, and professional clinicians all worked towards improved outcomes for people with diabetes. Diabetes Ireland Research Alliance collaborated in research study applications, provided guidance on expert panels, secured funding for new projects, fast-tracked recruitment processes when appropriate in an endeavour to move Irish diabetes research forward, and put funding towards both an Irish-based and a UK-based research project. See our current Research Project we are funding in conjunction with the Irish Research Council here.
Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland
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 with 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 is committed to adhering to these principles. Our signed statement is available to view here.
For more information on the Governance Code, please see: https://www.charitiesregulator.ie/en/information-for-charities/charities-governance-code
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 practices 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.
As well as maintaining current services, we are committed to growing our services long into the future. Looking forward to 2022-2026, a new 5-year strategy for Diabetes Ireland was launched, which will take us forward in the new world of today. However, this is only possible if we continuously generate the income required to deliver our services and support. To read Diabetes Ireland 2022-2026 Strategy, click here.