A KILWINNING student diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes will hold her second support event for anyone struggling with physical or emotional health living with the relentless condition.

Twenty-year-old student Alyssa Faulkner is mid-way through organising the upcoming day-long event, Young, Fun and Type 1, after she was diagnosed five years ago.

After learning to live with and manage the condition, which involves closely matching food eaten with the life-saving drug insulin, Alyssa has gone onto become an advocate for those living with the condition won two Diabetes Scotland Inspire Awards in recognition of her amazing efforts as a volunteer.

Sessions and workshops during the event in Glasgow on August 24 include technology and diabetes, how to exercise with the condition, drinking alcohol safely, and how to cope with further education.

Alyssa, who studies community education at Dundee University, said: “Living with Type 1 diabetes day in and day out can be a challenge. It’s constantly having to monitor your blood sugars while doing everything else, making sure you don’t go too low, or too high.

“It’s really hard work and can really take its toll on your mental health and physical health.

“All of the events I’d been to before were focussed on adults and not really covering any topics that interested me, so I thought, ‘well why not organise one myself?’

“Folk got a lot out of it, some of that was just hearing the stories of others, and knowing they weren’t alone – while others really benefitted from specific workshops like the meditation and mindfulness. We wanted to make sure we ran that again this year because it was so popular – and folk really enjoyed it. Looking after your head when you have to manage a condition like this can really help. It’s important because it is never-ending condition.

“But the peer support element is really important too – sometimes when emotional and psychological services aren’t available then peer support can really help to fill that gap.

“Just having someone else to talk to and know you’re not alone – it can make a real difference.”

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