Let’s Focus on Diabetes

led by Gill Hood at the Garrod Building

This excellent event was favourably presaged by the excellent directions exactly pinpointing the venue. Such precision is rare and was much appreciated.

When I arrived and signed in I was warmly received by Gill Hood and her friendly bunch of helpers and offered food and drinks. As other people arrived we settled ourselves around the four or five clusters of tables provided and introduced ourselves. The event was very well attended and consisted of people who were involved in diabetes work both professionally and personally, as well as a large number of people who had been diagnosed with diabetes who wanted to help by providing insights and their personal experiences of living with their condition.

I think possibly the only people who did not have this condition may have been the writers themselves, I do know that one definitely didn’t have diabetes and from a question asked by another it was clear that she hadn’t experienced it either. This, though, was the point of the workshop. The writers and producers were there to soak in the views and experiences of real people who were living and coping with this condition every day and hopefully sparking ideas for a storyline to dramatise a production which could be used not only in schools but to a wider adult audience too. They were gaining insights from people who live it every day and the stories encompassed wide areas of experience.

I thought the workshop was beautifully designed and effective in its aim of engaging people and encouraging them to share their thoughts and feelings and I enjoyed the way we were encouraged to pair up with person next to us and exchange experiences followed by changing tables and pairing up with another person and discussing our answers to two questions and noting their answers and subsequently giving those answers to the room on your partner’s behalf. The ‘game’ of agree, don’t know and disagree was also fun and produced an interesting discussion around a variety of matters. One thing I did notice was Gill’s assistants  working hard throughout taking notes. Gill highlighted this at the end and pointed out their work which they had put on the walls. They did a good job.

I did find challenging the ‘write your own drama’ section where different stories were discussed around the table. One idea put forward was that there was a slow start Friends style storyline where problems were gradually presented and then the denouement that the person had diabetes. I liked this idea but my own preference was to go in with a dramatic start to catch the attention along the lines of a mother/girlfriend/friend finding their loved one motionless on the floor in an unrecognised diabetic coma and then follow through with what happened to this person as the attempts to identify the cause of the attack were made and treatment commenced. In the end a third story was chosen and presented. 

I personally found the whole experience very informative, enjoyable and I came away with the knowledge that I am very lucky in my own experiences of diabetes.

One final thought, if anyone else should see this report and know of different ways of obtaining funding for this project then I am sure that Gill would be interested in hearing about it. For what it is worth I feel that this is a most worthwhile project and deserves every support.

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