Newsletter December 2019
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December 2019 Newsletter
Look back
Asda Community Awareness Day - Saturday 14th September
We were invited by the Asda Community Champion Linda Butcher to have a stand at the local store in Brighton Hill to share information on diabetes and make people aware of the things our local diabetes support group had planned for our members. We were very successful in distributing magazines and pamphlets relating to living with diabetes and had lots of interest in our stand throughout the day. It was great to meet so many faces and share information with our local community.

The Importance of Eye Screening - 17th September 2019

On Tuesday 17th September we were very fortunate to have Hannah Beharrell from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, Health Intelligence Ltd came to give a presentation on Retinal Screening. It clarified a lot of concerns around the subject and it was good to get an understanding of the benefit of having Retinal Screening rather than just relying on a visit to the optician.
If you were unable to attend the event you can see Hannah’s presentation here.

Walk Alton - 16th October 2019

On Wednesday 16 October 2019 the group were invited to attend a discussion on "What can walking contribute to your wellbeing" in Alton.  There were four speakers representing:-
  • Alton Cardiac Rehab
  • Energise Me - physical activity and health
  • Mind - Wellbeing for East Hampshire
  • Counselling - Sally Thomas
The speakers all spoke about the benefits of walking, not only to improve your physical health, but improve your mental health.  Studies carried out by various organisations have proved the benefits of walking. Physical inactivity is the principle cause of a huge number of common health problems:-
  • 10 percent of heart disease
  • 13 percent of type 2 diabetes
  • 18 percent of colon cancer
  • 17 percent of breast cancer
The benefits of walking:-
  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • Increase good cholesterol
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Improves balance
  • Reduces risk of falls
A good walk can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.  It can improve self perception and self esteem, mood and sleep quality and reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.  Physically active people have up to 30 percent reduced risk of becoming depressed and staying active helps those who are depressed improve their wellbeing. In older people staying active can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Basingstoke Council run health walks around the Basingstoke area with walks to suit everyone. For more information go to:-

Healthy Eating and Diabetes Workshop - Tuesday 5th November 

More than twenty people joined us for an enjoyable and informative session with the Dietician team from Basingstoke Hospital, headed by Jo Nicholls. We covered 2 main topics:-

1. Food categories - which types of food slot into the below categories, the impact of portion size and fat delaying digestion of protein/carbs:
  • Fruit and veg
  • Starchy foods, like bread, pasta and rice
  • Protein Foods like beans, pulses, nuts, eggs, meat and fish
  • Dairy and alternatives
  • Oils and spreads
2. Healthy lifestyle - carbohydrate content of food, impact of exercise on blood sugars and how much exercise/activity is required to burn off different foods and the impact of alcohol on blood sugar levels and carbohydrate vs calories in alcohol.

Waitrose Community Matters Scheme - November 2019

We were one of 3 local charities included in the Waitrose Community Matters Scheme in November and December where shoppers could choose to put their green tokens in our section.

We do not yet know the final count but look forward to sharing the results with you in our next newsletter.

If you are interested in learning more then please do come along to one our sessions - see details below.
Upcoming Local Events
Coffee and a Chat

Basing View
RG21 4YY

Monday 13th January
2.30pm - 3.30pm

Would you like to meet other people who are living with diabetes and have a coffee and chat?  Join us on Monday 13th January between 2:30pm and 3:30pm at the Waitrose cafe in Basingstoke.

Members of the committee will be there and we welcome the opportunity to hear your ideas and views on what you would like the Basingstoke Diabetes UK Support Group to consider for future activities.
Sherri Johnson - Diabetes Specialist Nurse

Hatch Warren Community Centre,
Longcross Lane,
RG22 4XF

Tuesday 10th March 7.30pm - 8.45pm

Sherri Johnston, Diabetes Specialist Nurse will be talking to us about Diabetes Community Services
Watch out for future dates!
In June, Clare Hughes will be talking to us about Insulin Pumps and Developments in Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)

Later in the year we are hoping to have Clarie Reidy come with one of the dogs she trains as Diabetes Alert Dogs 

Peter Davies who came and talked to us a couple of years ago about his mountaineering experiences will be coming back to update us on his adventures.

Dr Ben Turner who presented a very good Day in his Life talk will also be coming back to give another talk.

We look forward to seeing you all at our events in the New Year
Other Events

Patient Conference
Health and Wellbeing 

Please make a note of the date: 20th May 2020

The Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke

North Hampshire CCG and Diabetes UK are putting together a patient conference which will focus on Health and Wellbeing.

The event will include formal teaching and workshops with Dieticians, Psychologist, Podiatrist and Diabetes Specialist Nurses.

The event will be held at the Apollo Hotel and further details will be available in the New Year.

Donation to Diabetes UK
Following fundraising throughout the year the Basingstoke Diabetes UK Support Group have been able to make a donation to the Diabetes UK Head office and we have received the following certificate.

Thank you to you all for your support.

Are you interested in taking part in research?

We have been approached by some organisations asking us to spread the word on their research and the details are below -

Research Group
Dr Sineaid Collins, a Research Dietician is looking for people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes between the ages of 18 and 70 to take part in a study funded by Diabetes UK at Surrey University.  The study aims to investigate the impact of replacing 14% of the starch in a diet with resistant starch (a type of fibre) on post meal blood glucose levels in those with Type 2 diabetes.  The research was chosen by a local Diabetes UK group, because of the involvement of those with Type 2 diabetes in the development of the diet. They are also using including a focus group at the end to collate all the opinions and views of the participants, and this will form part of the results.  Recruiting will take place until around February 2020 and full details can be found on the flyer below.

Humango is a project ran by researchers from Oxford University, University of Toronto, and New York University. They have told us their research is opening a new avenue for patient-reported outcomes, specifically on diet for diabetes. They say this will not only become an important resource for the community but will also drive new insights into how researchers will better understand diet on a personal level. They would like people living with diabetes to complete a survey that will take approx 2 minutes and have said all information will be kept anonymous.  please see the link below.
Important Milestones

Diabetes UK reached important milestones in the charity’s history this year.

In March it was 85 years since H G Wells and R D Lawrence brought together a small group of committed healthcare professionals and formed the Diabetic Association - the charity we all know today as Diabetes UK.

There was also a celebration to recognise the 80th anniversary of the founding of the first Local Group. Today there are more than 340 Local and Community across the UK and to commemorate this anniversary our group received a certificate which can be seen above.
Diabetes UK Newsletter
If you are not already signed up we recommend subscribing to the Diabetes UK Newsletter so you do not miss out on valuable information. You can do that here.
Personal Achievements
Type 2 Diabetes and me
by Don Hilton


I was diagnosed as a type 2 Diabetic in my early 40s, many years ago.  I was slightly overweight but certainly not obese, but it did not come as a total shock as there is a lot of diabetes in my family.

Initially I changed my diet to avoid sugary foods and lost a bit of weight, but over the years let things drift a little bit and as I reached my 60s my hbA1c had drifted up to 57 despite my tablets being increased several times, and my weight had increased probably by a pound or two a year but overall by about a stone and a half.  I had dropped my gym membership as I was too busy at work and lapsed into grazing on unhealthy snacks during the day.  I was warned that any further increase could result in me having to go onto injections which I did not want.

As I approached retirement I was invited to participate in the Diabetic Challenge at my doctors surgery. This consisted of attending a number of events including talks on diet and exercise and getting an introductory gym membership.  I decided that I needed to make changes and this was the kick up the backside I needed. The Basingstoke diabetes group encouraged me though the program and I have since joined the committee and this year helped mentor patients on the latest course.

Some changes I was able to make while still working – for example replacing packets of crisps with fruit (although not quite all of them). Also when I walked to the shop for a sandwich at lunchtime taking a detour on the way back to add a few hundred yards as a bit of exercise. I recommend that you plan your route as the first time I did this I got hopelessly lost and walked an extra 3 miles by mistake much to the amusement of my work colleagues.

Retirement is a good time to take action as you are setting up a new regime and in many ways that is easier than changing an existing one. I was able to incorporate more exercise and less food into my daily routine.  I still enjoy my food but in the first 6 months after I took on the challenge I lost about 20 pounds despite going on a cruise and I have broadly maintained that since. My HbA1c came down to 43 and my medication has been reduced two years running which is very pleasing.  I try to go to the gym once a week and play golf twice a week weather permitting.

I do not think that I will ever be free of diabetes – I would not be able to maintain the sort of changes Tom Watson (former deputy leader of the Labour party) has made for example who lost 8 stone, but it is never too late to make improvements and it can be done without letting it totally dominate your life.

Have you done something you are proud of which would like to share in our newsletter? Please contact us at
... to everyone who led talks, attended an event, provided the venue and our Group's Committee who made it all happen!

If you have any suggestions for events you would like to see or if you would like to get involved we would love to here from you. Please contact us here.

Living with diabetes together...
Copyright © 2019 Diabetes UK Basingstoke, All rights reserved.

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