‘New people are always welcome’ to diabetes meetings in Burgess Hill

Members of Support 4 Diabetes, Mid Sussex
Members of Support 4 Diabetes, Mid Sussex

People in Mid Sussex who are diagnosed with diabetes ‘don’t have to feel scared’ as there is support available.

Support 4 Diabetes, Mid Sussex, based in Burgess Hill, offers peer support to people with diabetes.

It holds monthly meetings in the Salvation Army Hall, in Cyprus Road, which are free for anyone to attend.

“New people are always welcome,” said Tony Reynolds, who has had diabetes for 40 years.

“We want to put ourselves out there and we want to attract new members.

“There are so many people now that have diabetes – we are the last support group left in Mid Sussex.”

Over the past 21 years, Support 4 Diabetes, Mid Sussex, has raised thousands of pounds for diabetes research and it sponsors children to attend Diabetes UK holidays.

The group has had many supporters, including Burgess Hill District Lions Club, St Francis Social Club, Burgess Hill Town Council, Jessica’s Chemist and Jupps fish and chip shop.

“People diagnosed can get very depressed but when they come to a support group they don’t have to feel scared, there is support there,” said Caroline Keast.

The 61-year-old became involved with the group on day one. She received a letter through the post explaining that there was going to be a meeting. She went along with her daughter, aged 11 at the time, who has type 1 diabetes.

“I was the only woman on the committee and now we have one man on the committee – the rest are women,” she added.

Twenty-five people come along to the monthly meetings at the moment. Among them is Barbara Sutcliffe, 79. She has type 2 diabetes. “When people are diagnosed with diabetes, it would be nice if they could be told about this group, as I wasn’t,” she said.

Marion Parrott, 77, also goes along to the meetings. “If you come to these group meetings there is a great understanding,” she said.

“You don’t know what you can eat at first – it was the food side if it that I wanted to know about.

“If you have a particular problem you can raise it and some one in the group may have had the same problem.”

The meetings are held on the last Wendesday of the month at 8pm.

For more information about Support 4 Diabetes, Mid Sussex, visit www.burgesshilldiabetes.co.uk or follow them on Facebook: @Support4DiabetesMidSussex

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