Swindon meet-up will bring together young adults with diabetes

National charity Diabetes UK is hosting a free event at Swindon Town Football Club for people aged between 16 and 26 who are living with Type 1 diabetes.

Dubbed #TheBig1, the meet-up will take place on Saturday, 16 June. It will offer the opportunity for young adults with Type 1 diabetes to relax and chat with others in the same age group who are living with the condition. They will also be able to hear from experts and from inspirational people who have Type 1 diabetes, including Welsh sprinter Melanie Stephenson who has competed at national and international level.

#TheBig1 will be firmly focused on what it’s like to live with diabetes as a young adult, aiming to answer some of the many questions people in this age group often raise. How easy is it to travel when you’ve got diabetes? How does it affect relationships? How far can you push yourself in sport? Attendees can also share their own tips and experiences if they want to.

Matt Robert, Diabetes UK improving care manager for the south west, said: “That crucial decade between 16 and 26 is when you are getting out in the world, starting work, going to uni, having relationships. It’s an exciting time but, if you have Type 1 diabetes, there’s a lot of juggling to make sure you can do all the things you want to do but still stay in control of your condition. So it can also be a difficult time, especially if you don’t know anyone else in the same boat.

“#TheBig1 is a chance to meet other people who know exactly what you’re going through and actually be part of something.”

Diabetes UK Swindon Group is donating £3,330 towards the event, while Swindon-based charity Sabrina’s Mile is giving £850.

Sabrina’s Mile was set up by Luisa Moccia to raise money for diabetes causes in the Swindon area after her daughter Sabrina died as a result of her Type 1 diabetes in 2016. She was 33.

Luisa Moccia said: “Sabrina was diagnosed at the age of 26. Going to an event like #TheBig1 and meeting other people her age with diabetes would have been amazing for her. It would have given her such a boost. It’s so important to get people together. None of Sabrina’s friends had diabetes and she felt quite alone sometimes.”

#TheBig1 will take place on 16 June 2018, 10.30am to 4pm at Swindon Town Football Club. Lunch and snacks are provided. You can also bring a “plus one” and under 18s will need to be accompanied by an adult. To sign up for a free place, go to eu.eventscloud.com/thebig1. For further information, call the south west office of Diabetes UK on 01823 448260 or email [email protected]