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. 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 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 support to thousands of Irish people with diabetes and their families when needed most.

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 times 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


Diabetes Ireland launch its 2017 Annual Report
Call for all people with diabetes to become members


Last year, Diabetes Ireland celebrated its golden anniversary. From humble beginnings in 1967, in recent years the charity has expanded hugely. To mark the occasion, a history book charting the first 50 years of the charity was produced. The book is a testament to the work of many people who have given their time and energy to Diabetes Ireland and to the development of diabetes services in Ireland, from successfully campaigning for the introduction of free insulin and medications for all people with diabetes (via the Long-Term Illness Scheme), to the removal of blanket private motor car insurance loadings to the changing landscape of diabetes treatment today.


From a service provision, in 2017 demand on our services continued to increase drawing more on our limited staff and financial resources. The number of people attending our Care Centres increased, the number of enquiries online and offline and the demands for up to date information that goes with them has increased significantly. We continued to target high-risk groups through our health promotion activities by increasing their knowledge and awareness of diabetes and encouraging them to make positive lifestyle changes.


2017 service highlights are:


  • 341,770 visitors to www.diabetes.ie.
  • 10,420 facebook followers and 3,911 twitter followers.
  • 2,760 people contacted our national diabetes helpline
  • More than 12,000 people attended our Diabetes Care Centres in Dublin and Cork
  • 2,350 people attended 20 public education meetings to share their experiences and hear from a range of diabetes healthcare professionals on all aspects of effectively living with diabetes on a daily basis.
  • 432 people with Type 2 diabetes attended 33 CODE education programmes nationwide.
  • 91 teenagers attended National Teen Activity Day
  • we delivered 39 Type 1 diabetes education/awareness presentations to teachers and pupils in schools nationwide.
  • We held 131 health promotion/screening events in 2017. 8,943 people accessed these events of which 646 (7.2%) were referred to their GP for further screening for Type 2 diabetes.
  • 4,000 people completed our Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment online with over 2,000 classified as either high or moderate risk.


2017 saw the charity make a loss of €83,551. With costs increasing and Government grant support funding remaining static, we simply need to generate more funds in 2018 to ensure we can continue to maintain all our services which provide direct care, education, and support to thousands of people with diabetes and their families each year.


Professor Hilary Hoey, Chairperson, Diabetes Ireland said, “expanding our services, can only happen with the support of our own community. In relation to the number of people with diabetes in Ireland, our membership base is relatively tiny. Through the work of the charity over 50 years, all people with diabetes receive free care and medications for their condition plus many other benefits which would not have happened without the advocacy work undertaken by Diabetes Ireland.


While there are many ways to support Diabetes Ireland, we want all people with diabetes to become a member so we can mutually support each other. Our goal is to support, educate and motivate the diabetes community. The charity needs your support to do that.” Read the full report here


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.



Diabetes Prevention

In 2018 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 is committed to adhering to these principles. Our signed statement is available to view here – Codes of Practice.
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.