10 year Patient Champion calls for others to join him

Dave Rea has been a Diabetes Patient Champion for the central Norfolk Diabetes Network (NIDM), for the last 10 years, is now calling for volunteers to come forward and join him in helping those living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

When Dave joined as a Diabetes Patient Champion in 2004 little did he realise that his role would have go from strength to strength. During his time as a Patient Champion, Dave has helped hundreds of patients by offering non-medical support or advice to patients and their relatives living with diabetes. Dave also acts as a patient representative, speaking at GP surgeries and other organisations on what it is like living with diabetes.

In 2005, Dave together with other like minded volunteers, formed the central Norfolk Diabetes Patient Supporters group. This group of supporters offer a non-medical helpline for people (and their families) living with diabetes. The supporters are a dedicated group of people living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, trained to provide a ‘peer’ support telephone helpline for those living in central Norfolk. It is available for anyone who wants to talk about their condition or about any concerns they may have with living or coping with diabetes.

Dave Rea, 62 from Norwich, who runs a conservatory company and imports log cabins, admits he knew very little about diabetes when he was diagnosed type 2 (or late-onset) diabetes in 1998. “It came as a complete shock but I’ve learned there’s a lot I can do to help myself by watching my diet and making changes to my lifestyle. As a Patient Champion for people with type 2 my role is to offer support and represent the interests of people living with the condition”.

Professor Mike Sampson, diabetes consultant at the NNUH said: “We all think Dave has done a fantastic job being the Patients Champion for those with type 2 diabetes, and we are now looking to recruit another Diabetes Patient Champion with type 1 diabetes. We also need to recruit a number of additional Patient Supporters who live with type 2 diabetes. All the posts are run on an unpaid voluntary basis with full training and support for each role provided, giving those involved an opportunity to help others with the benefit of their experience of living with the condition.”

If you are interested in getting involved in either of these voluntary vacancies or would like to find out more about the central Norfolk Diabetes Patient Supporters group please call Angela Young, Diabetes Network Manager on 0800 0320 087.

Thursday 6th of February 2014 03:00:15 PM