Diabetes UK

For the online medical resource, see Patient UK.
Diabetes UK
Founded 1934
Headquarters London, offices in Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Warrington, Darlington, Walsall, Witham, Nottingham, Epsom, Taunton,
Key people
H. G. Wells, founder
Members 180,000 +
Website Diabetes.org.uk

Diabetes UK is a British-based patient, healthcare professional and research charity that describes itself as the "leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes."[1] The charity campaigns for improvements in the care and treatment of people with diabetes.


Diabetes UK was founded in 1934 as The Diabetic Association, by the author H. G. Wells and Dr R. D. Lawrence.[2] Diabetes UK's first research grant was made in 1936.[3] The organisation has since had two name changes—in 1954 to The British Diabetic Association and again in June 2000 to Diabetes UK.[2]

Diabetes UK's first voluntary group was set up in 1939; 350 groups are now spread out across the UK. There are also local offices across England and national offices in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. They run conferences for their volunteers and healthcare professionals in the field of diabetes.

The charity has been running care holidays since the 1930s for children. Family and adult holidays have been introduced since. The holidays aim to provide support and advice in a fun surrounding.[4]

In 1993, a counselling line for patients, family and friends was launched with recorded diabetes information available 24 hours a day.[5]


Diabetes UK provides extensive funding for United Kingdom-based research into the causes and treatment of diabetes and its complications. The charity's first research grant was made in 1936.[3]

The charity provides financial support for "project grants, funding to purchase laboratory equipment, and research-training opportunities ranging from PhD studentships to research fellowships."[6] In 2011, the charity awarded £1,035,743 to five new research grants, and £440,051 to five new PhD studentships.[7]

Groups and events

The charity run Care Events for diabetics and their families.[8] They organise Children and Young People’s Events for children with diabetes,[9] and Family Events for families who have children with diabetes.[10]

Diabetes UK also run local support groups throughout the UK.[11]


Diabetes UK produces a range of information booklets and various magazines, including the magazine "Balance" which is regularly posted to its members (formerly The Diabetic Journal), first published in 1935, changing its name to Balance in 1961[3]), and "Diabetes Update" for professionals. It also, via Blackwell Publishing, produces the academic journal, Diabetic Medicine. Previous issues were published by John Wiley and Sons (Volume 1, 1984 to Volume 17, mid2000).


The charity offers membership for a £2 monthly fee.[12] There are currently over 300,000 supporting members.[12]

Diabetes UK runs a website that includes information about diabetes for healthcare professionals and people living with the disease, and also operates a careline offering support to diabetics and friends and family members with diabetes.[13] Diabetes education in uk is an essential part of good blood sugar control, and avoiding long-term healthcare complications[14]

See also


Further reading

External links

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