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Issue Date:-13 January 2009

Diabetes UK is 75 years old

75 years ago on 10 January 1934 leading health charity Diabetes UK was formed by the novelist HG Wells – who most famously wrote The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds - and Dr RD Lawrence, both of whom had diabetes.  The charity’s aim was to ensure that everyone in the UK could gain access to insulin, whatever their financial situation.

This was a ground-breaking initiative prior to the existence of a national health service.  The organisation (previously called the Diabetic Association and then the British Diabetic Association) has always challenged ideas of how people with diabetes should be treated and from the start believed in support to enable active self-management of the condition.  The organisation actively campaigned for the establishment of the NHS and our underlying principles of partnership working, proactive control and lobbying continue to this day.

Helen Pattie, Diabetes UK North West Regional Manager, said:- “75 years ago, Diabetes UK was created and although we have worked tirelessly to improve the health of the nation, diabetes remains one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK.  With the help of our many supporters we will continue to raise awareness of diabetes and its complications and provide information & support for healthcare professionals, researchers and people with diabetes.  Diabetes UK's mission is to improve the lives of people with diabetes and work towards a world without diabetes.  This year we are committed to spend around £8 million funding a variety of research projects.”

Dr Desmond McNeill, 83, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1925 has been a member of Diabetes UK since the charity’s first year after Dr RD Lawrence, his doctor at the time, encouraged him to join. 

Dr McNeill said:- “Having diabetes has had a huge impact on my life, although I have never let the condition prevent me from being active and taking on new challenges.  My decision to become a doctor was influenced by my condition.  Across the decades I have seen many positive changes in the way diabetes is treated and in how diabetes care is delivered.  I am now 83 years old and I am a good example of the fact that if you manage your diabetes successfully there is no reason why you should not lead a long and rewarding life.”

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is growing faster than ever as new statistics show that 45 people are diagnosed every day with the condition in the North West. 

The Diabetes UK North West branch provides local information, advice and support for people with diabetes, healthcare professionals and government agencies.  The majority of people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes which is mostly linked to lifestyle issues such as poor diet and lack of physical activity.  It is estimated that around 65,000 people in the North West have the condition but do not know it.

As part of its anniversary activities Diabetes UK has also produced a celebrity factsheet which includes the names of celebrities who have diabetes, and quotes from some of its celebrity supporters, as well as a research factsheet which lists some of the crucial diabetes research projects that the charity has funded over the past 75 years.

Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.  Short-term complications include hypoglycaemic episodes, known as ‘hypos’, which can lead to unconsciousness and hospitalisation if left untreated, and persistent high blood glucose levels can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which if untreated can be fatal.

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A staggering 87% of female Liverpudlians never manage to stick to their New Year’s resolution, according to a recent study by, the home of fashion, beauty, hair and celebrity.

The research, which proves that the Liverpudlians have little or no willpower, was based on interviews with more than 500 women across the country.  The results show that while 63% of Liverpool women surveyed made resolutions this year, the majority of them struggle on a yearly basis to kick their bad habits.  And the reasons?  43% find it too hard to stick to the resolutions and 52% just can’t be bothered - blaming not having enough time as a main factor.  Of the 87% of those who said they never stick to their resolutions, a quarter said it generally took up to a month to quit, 25% threw in the towel after 2 weeks and 10% only managed to stick to their resolutions for 24 hours.

The websites 'Resolutions' survey also asked women what their top three resolutions were.  Saving money (35%), getting out of debt (22%) and going on a diet (52%) were top of the bill; while the usual suspects – drinking less (20%), smoking (20%), joining the gym (26%) and eating less chocolate (24%) also made their annual appearance.

And God loves a trier - of the 79% of female Brummies making resolutions this year, 30% said they were repeating the same resolution from the year before, 28% had lost count of their yearly resolutions and 17% admitted to having never made the same resolution.  Regionally, behind the Brummies making the most resolutions, comes the North East (71%) and London (64%).  Scots are the worst offenders with 92% never sticking to their resolution, lasses from the North West are 2nd with 88%, Brummies 3rd with 87% and Londoners share equal 4th with the Welsh (86%).  Although fewer women in the South (39%) will take up a resolution this year, they are the most likely to stick to them (16%). Editor Debbie Djordjevic says:- “In the current credit-crunch climate resolutions will play an even greater part in our everyday lives.  They are very difficult to stick to anytime of the year which is why we’re introducing Resolutions Month on  By offering much needed help we hope to empower UK women to look and feel better in 2009.”

Do you agree with these findings?   Email us to and let us know what you think!


BUSINESS Software Alliance (BSA) announces a successful case against an Anfield-based resident accused of selling illegal software over the Internet according to Sara Downey, Account Manager at Brands2Life.  Sara Downey told us that:- "Mr. John Rothwell, a seller on the online site,, has agreed to pay £5,000 in damages after selling pirated copies of design and office productivity software. The lawsuit against Mr. Rothwell was filed on 27 October 2008." 

In a press release sent out by Brands2Life, they said that Julie Strawson, Chair, BSA UK Member Committee commented:- “The proceedings against Mr. Rothwell are necessary. Mr. Rothwell’s actions may not seem serious to some, but the consequences for businesses and consumers are far ranging. The harmfulness of viruses, with the ability to corrupt computer files, halting the operations of businesses, is too serious to mitigate. No amount of cost cutting from purchases is worth the outcome. We hope an important message has been conveyed: if you’re purchasing software over the Internet and the price looks too good to be true, it probably is – there is a strong chance the product could be pirated. If you are selling unlicensed software over the internet, think about the effects and remember – you are not anonymous and you will get caught.” 

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