13 September 2023

Activity weekend for paediatric diabetes patients

This summer, the charity funded a special activity weekend for paediatric diabetes patients to challenge themselves, meet others living with diabetes, and to have fun! Carolyne Salvin, paediatric diabetes nurse specialist team lead tells us more…

“Our paediatric diabetes team recently went away for a weekend residential activity camp to Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre in the New Forest, taking with them 28 children and young people who are living with diabetes.

Southampton Hospitals Charity along with the Charlotte Frances May Foundation helped fund the cost so that the trip was accessible to all of the 280 patients currently treated in Southampton Children’s Hospital for diabetes.

The stay involved two days of activities such as paddle-boarding, high ropes, archery, and raft building, as well as evenings spent playing games, and making new friends!

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong autoimmune condition, which requires intensive management to maintain blood glucose levels within a set range to prevent short and long-term complications.

Children, young people, and their families have to monitor blood glucose levels continuously, manage complex technology, and often have to take urgent action if blood glucose levels deviate from the expected range.

 

This was the first residential trip since Covid-19 which is so important as peer support is crucial.

It can significantly improve children’s wellbeing by enabling opportunities for shared experiences and information, creating support groups, leading to better self-esteem.

Staff had an opportunity to see how amazingly resilient these youngsters are in managing their diabetes in a challenging but fun environment, whilst gaining insight and further experience in understanding the demands that these families manage on a daily and nightly basis.

All the youngsters that took part were courageous. Some had never met other people living with diabetes, some were scared of heights, and some had never been away from home before.

New friendships were forged, diabetes care was normalised, new confidences achieved, and some learned different ways to manage their condition. Above all else, everyone had a great time!”

“All the staff and helpers were all amazing people to give our children this chance and thank you to the charities for their support.” Parent

“Thank you all so much, he’s had a brilliant time, and is looking forward to next year! He really enjoyed all the activities.” Parent

Help us to provide more experiences like this for our patients.

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