A NEW support group for people with diabetes is being set up in Worcestershire.

Diabetes sufferer Richard Kennard, of Malvern Link, has been attending a support group in Worcester and, through his own connections, realised there was a real gap for something similar in his home town.

Diabetes is a long-term condition that affects the body’s ability to process sugar or glucose and can have serious health consequences without careful management. It is estimated to affect almost three million people in the UK. Mr Kennard has type two diabetes, while his wife Frances has suffered from the rarer type one condition – which only accounts for about 10 per cent of cases – for 50 years.

He said the Worcester group was a real benefit to the people who attend it, but because meetings take place in the evenings and are not easy to get to by public transport, many Malvern people could be missing out.

“I decided to try and set up a similar sort of group here,” he said.

“It’s intended to be somewhere that people with both type one and type two diabetes can get together, share stories and exchange views about their treatments.

“Hopefully we will be able to get some speakers to come along and it will also be a chance to have a social get together.”

“I think if this sort of thing had existed it would have been a great support to us over the years. There is a lot of ignorance about the condition still and it is something that is definitely on the increase, particularly type two.”

Janet Alexander Hall, volunteer development officer for charity Diabetes UK, is delighted a group is opening in Malvern.

“I look forward to working with the people involved,” she said. “Voluntary groups offer support to those with diabetes and their families and carers. It offers an opportunity to meet other people with the condition and share experiences.”

The new Malvern Diabetes Group will be meeting on the last Monday of every month at the Octagon Centre, in Brook Farm Drive, Poolbrook and the first meeting is on March 25 at 2pm.

Anyone interested in finding out more can email r@k.gg, call 0800 987 1212 or visit diabetesmalvern.org.uk.