Most of us have heard the term 'type 1' or 'type 2' diabetes. Less of us will know that, according to the World Health Organisation, there are over 400 million people across the globe living with diabetes. Whether or not you're one of them, there's plenty you can do to help.
Why Volunteer With A Diabetes Charity?
The NHS estimates that there will be more than five million people with the condition in the UK by 2025, while over 12 million are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, which is the more common form by far. That's a huge number of people - approximately 17% of the UK population.
Volunteering with a diabetes charity is a brilliant way to help out, and there are lots of different roles you could perform to suit your talents and availability. As well as being a rewarding experience, you can gain skills and friendships alongside seeing exactly how your efforts are helping those in need.
How To Help Diabetes Charities
RUN A HEALTHY LIVING GROUP
Community groups can be a powerful tool in raising awareness about diabetes and helping people adjust their lifestyle to both avoid and combat it. By educating people about how their eating and exercise habits directly affect their heath, you can help people improve their diet and get active through organised events.
GET PEOPLE WALKING
Being active is one of the most important factors in managing and preventing diabetes. Walking counts towards the 150 minutes of physical activity that's recommended each week, which is why charities such as The Ramblers were started. Whether you're helping an organisation by doing things like leading walks and clearing footpaths, or starting your own group for weekly walking adventures, you can help diabetes charities combat the onset of the condition.
BECOME AN ONLINE FORUM HOST
Nowadays, online forums and social media groups are hugely popular for people to share their experiences and advice, and provide a crucial part of the support system for many people with diabetes. By hosting one of these forums, you can help huge amounts of people connect to each other to lend both their strength and insight.
GET INVOLVED WITH SPORTS
Health programmes can be hugely effective in helping to prevent and manage diabetes, especially as people get older. If you love being active, why not help others to do the same, whether it's running an exercise class at a local gym or community centre, or refereeing an over 50s football match.
SHARE YOUR PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE
From counselling to computing skills and expertise in complimentary therapies such as hypnotherapy, different talents can be useful in a wide variety of ways. If you think you have a skill that could be transferrable to helping a diabetes charity, don't hesitate to get in touch and ask whether your abilities can be put to use.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
- As diabetes is a health condition, you'll need a certain amount of educational training before you're in a position to advise people who have it. For this reason, some charities may require a minimum time commitment from you before you start, although this might only be a few months.
- You don't have to commit to full-time hours in order to volunteer - even a couple of hours a week could make a huge difference to a diabetes charity.
Where To Get Started
If you're looking to get volunteering for a charity that helps people with diabetes, why not start by checking out these two great organisations?
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