YOUNGSTERS with Type 1 diabetes are to benefit from more than £5,000 towards respite care.
Cash was presented to the Dewsbury Young Diabetics group by the Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Paul Kane, on Monday.
It is among the first cheques handed out from funds raised by Coun Kane’s mayoral charity appeal.
And the cash stemmed from an event he attended last year as deputy mayor, which proved to be a revelation about Type 1 diabetes.
Coun Kane said: “When we set out to do this we were looking at Type 2 in particular.
“But I was invited to the Dewsbury Young Diabetics annual party and it really opened my eyes.”
Type 1 diabetes is genetic, rather than caused by dietary or lifestyle factors, and its onset is unusual in childhood.
Coun Kane said: “The condition has specific impacts on the future of children, their education, lifestyle and job and career prospects.
“They also can’t go on normal holidays or school trips because they need a specialist to look after them.
“So if you have respite care, families can send them there knowing there is somebody there who is a specialist in diabetes.”
Dewsbury Young Diabetics is one such group and they received £5,700 from Coun Kane’s fund.
Cash will help pay for activities organised so that parents – like those of Siobhan, 18, and Amy Sykes, 13 – can have a rest. The sisters, of Combs Road, Thornhill Edge, both have the condition.
Amy is a pupil at Thornhill Community Academy while Siobhan, who recently left the Valley Drive secondary, is now an IT apprentice.
Dad Neil said: “They both look fine, but it’s invisible and you have to be really careful. You have to look at every meal to work out how many carbohydrates there are, so you know how much insulin to give. Too much and they could go into a coma or die if not caught early enough and with too little they can become dehydrated or worse.”
£50,000 will help fund research
MAYOR Paul Kane is set to raise at least £50,000 for diabetes charities in his stint as Kirklees Council’s figurehead. Coun Kane steps down at the end of the current civic year next month.
Cash will help fund research into diabetes and Coun Kane said: “At the very beginning I thought I wanted to raise £1,000 a week. We’ve managed to do that and now there’s only six or seven weeks left so I’m quite happy with what we’ve done. There’s been some extremely generous people who’ve helped and I can’t thank them enough.”
Coun Kane believes highlighting diabetes will make people more aware of their own health. He said: “We wanted to do prevention work because diabetes costs the NHS £10bn a year.
“That is a tremendous amount of money for what in the case of Type 2 diabetes is preventable.
“While we’ve raised in excess of £50,000, we’ve also put diabetes at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds and it’s impossible to measure the effect of that.”
About 10 per cent of funds raised are for local health groups working in other fields.