We are a group of young people known as the Mighty DUKs. We got together with the support of Diabetes Scotland and thanks to funding from Kwik-Fit Insurance, who selected Diabetes Scotland as their charity of the year, after one of their colleagues passed away due to complications from Type 1 diabetes. She died on the morning of June 7, 2010. She was 22 years old.
Diabetes Scotland used this funding to develop their approach to working with Young People with Type 1 diabetes, as young people are often best placed to inform the decisions that affect their lives.
The overall aim of this website is to ensure young people have optimal knowledge of their condition, build on their confidence in dealing with their diabetes and have the necessary information to self-manage, whilst engaging in the activities and challenges any young person faces.
We have had the opportunity to lead a project, work with different organisations and meet other young people with Type 1; to voice what's important and to say what support is needed. As young people we have been central to every element of the project, and have been supported and encouraged to develop the involvement of additional young people, enabling us, as young people in Scotland with Type 1, to have a united voice on the important topics that affect our lives.
This was when the group got together for the first time in Glasgow.
It was a big step for quite a few of us; many of us had never met anyone else with Type 1 before.
We got to meet the staff that would be working with us over the next year from Diabetes UK, found out a bit about each other and what was important to us and what kind of resource we’d like to develop for young people across Scotland.
The first weekend in December we all took part in a 3 day residential at the Stanley Nairn Centre, Dalguise.
It’s safe to say this was probably the coldest weekend of the year and we thought we might get stranded but we had a great time. We had spent some time after the last meeting looking up resources for young people with Type 1 and examples of stuff that we liked and used.
At this point we realised that most young people use the internet to get information and have smart phones so it was going to be accessed by young people more if we created an online resource.
We were supposed to go on a 5 day residential in January to Wiston Lodge near Biggar, however if we had thought December was cold, January was DUKing freezing! In the end we had to postpone the residential as it was forecast to be -12 with 15 inches of snow!
Instead we held a day in Glasgow where those of us not trapped by snow could attend. This was the first time we got to meet D from Fixers and she helped us to think through our 3 best ideas, who our target audience would be and what the best way to reach them would be.
Luckily we were able to reschedule the residential for February however some of us were doing our prelims and couldn’t make the residential.
We had already felt back in December that a website would be the best way to reach people however after meeting with Fixers we were sure this was the way forward and were hoping to create a website by young people with Type 1 for young people with Type 1.
Danny and D from Fixers came to meet us and discuss our ideas for the website – with half of us swooning at Danny’s accent and the other half D’s wee dogs!
We told them we wanted it to be interactive and more engaging than the text based magazine we were working from, however we didn’t want it to be the cheesy bright sites you see that are supposed to attract young people.
We knew we wanted the basic information on Type 1 and how it affected your friends/family, socially and your health. We also wanted to highlight the great work being carried out by young people with T1 so were really keen for a message board and spotlight section.
We all had a great weekend and were super excited to work on our stories and ideas after the residential – and we’d also made some amazing friends!
March – May 2013
During this time we worked independently developing our stories, interviewing HCP’s and attending different events to promote the work we are doing and the website – pre launch.
In June we all got together to review the website, it felt like ages since we’d seen each other, but it kind of felt like family and we all just got on like no time has passed.
We were excited and nervous about viewing the site as we’d been working on it for 10 months and really believed that this could make a difference to young people living with Type 1.
In July we started working on the little changes we wanted to make to the website so it was ready for our launch.
We decided to meet with YoungScot to find out more about their Truth About Youth project and how they could be involved in helping us get the word out to young people across Scotland about our website resource.
Although we had lots to do we knew it was all going to pay off and were really starting to get excited about how the website was shaping up.
We met again in August to finalise everything for thr website and began to plan how we would launch the site.
We decided to host a launch event and invite young people with Type 1 to come and meet us and see what we had been working on.
This is when it all started to feel real and exciting so the launch was scheduled for as soon as possible.
September was the month of the launch for the website, we decided on everything from the venue to the menu which was great fun and gave us the opportunity to decide exactly how we wanted the event to go.