by Frances Skinner

Hi my name is Frances. I have worked in the Community Outreach team here at LD:NorthEast for several years now, and at the beginning of the summer I joined the Health & Wellbeing team as the Diabetes Education Co-ordinator.

Here at LD:NorthEast we are continuing to develop the work of our Health and Wellbeing Project in our mission to reduce the health inequalities faced by people with a learning disability or autism in North Tyneside. Health education is an important way for us to support people to manage their own physical and mental health by building their knowledge and confidence.

So, I am very excited to announce the launch of LD:NorthEast’s new Type 2 diabetes education programme.

Many traditional health education programmes are not accessible for people with a learning disability. For those who are unable to read, are unaware of medical terminology or feel anxious in a health setting, these courses can be confusing and sometimes intimidating. Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects people with a learning disability, and it is a very complex health condition to explain and understand. Providing a service which can improve people’s understanding of their health condition and how to manage it will therefore be extremely beneficial.

As LD:NorthEast’s new Diabetes Education Co-ordinator I have spent the last 4 months training to become an EMPOWER accredited Diabetes Educator. This work has included adapting EMPOWER education materials into 7 accessible and interactive weekly workshops with an easy-read handbook. We want our programme to inform participants about Type 2 diabetes and the health risks it poses. However, we also want to encourage and empower people as they adjust to their lives with diabetes, promoting and celebrating positive (and often difficult) lifestyle choices and changes they make.

I am pleased to say that we are now ready to start accepting referrals to our Type 2 diabetes education programme.

If you, or someone you support or care for has Type 2 diabetes, a learning disability or autism, and is registered at a North Tyneside GP surgery please visit Diabetes Education Programme – LD:NorthEast ( – you can fill in our referral form and myself or one of my colleagues will get in contact with you as soon as possible.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the workshops!