Two Wolverhampton mothers are hoping to offer help for people affected by diabetes by setting up their own support group.
Zoe Sherwood, from New Invention, and Lorraine Blower, from Wednesfield, have kick started the Wolverhampton T1 Network after feeling that there was a lack of support in their community.
They hope it will connect people with Type 1 diabetes in the Wolverhampton area, including parents of children with diabetes.
For Zoe, setting up the group has its personal reasons, as her son Lewis, aged 7, pictured, was diagnosed with the condition in December 2008.
She said: “The implication of Lewis’ diagnosis still remains. After the diagnosis I feel there is limited emotional support, on top of all the other battles, such as schooling and reducing your work hours.
“We want to set up this group as we feel there is no support locally where parents and kids can meet and mix outside of the hospital setting.”
The mothers, whose children both attend the diabetes clinic at New Cross Hospital, met after both expressed interest to nurses about setting up a support network.
Since, both Zoe and Lorraine have been working tirelessly to lift the group off the ground, and have even met with Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF to discuss further plans.
The support group, which has pulled in 37 members so far over Facebook, will begin fundraising soon, with a percentage of the funds they make going to the nationally recognised charity.
34-year-old Zoe added: “Things are moving and we are going to give out leaflets to tell people about the group.
“Maybe we can go some way to ease the feelings of being overwhelmed and alone that come with diagnosis.”
Lorraine, aged 39, is also anticipating the group’s start-up.
Her 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago.
She said: “When diabetes came into our lives, it felt like the end of the world. I felt I had nowhere to turn to and no one to speak to either.
“I feel like I have been a box in the last four years, and when I was looking around for a support group, I simply couldn’t find one.
“When Zoe and I met each other, we hit it off straight away. We can communicate with each other about our problems and that is exactly what we want our group to do.
“I just want a group where people can get together, talk and realise that they are not alone.”
The support network aims to hold their first meeting on the 31 March, and are currently looking for a local venue where they can meet up.
In the future, the group will also hold fundraisers and meetings, with reps from JDRF in attendance.
Zoe’s husband, Andy Sherwood, aged 35, thanks the internet for the group’s early success.
He said: “It shows how good the new forms of social media enable groups like these to reach out to others. A group like this wouldn’t have been made possible a few years ago.”
Anyone interested in joining the network can get in touch with the Wolverhampton T1 Network Facebook page or by phoning Lorraine on 07530832066.
Have you set up your own local support group? Then we want to hear from you! Contact Lee Kettle at email@example.com to let us know!