Tuesday December 1 saw the special Christmas session at the Go Type 1 (GT1) community group held at the Phoenix Club inside the grounds of Forest School, Horsham.
GT1 was formed earlier this year by Chloe Parrott, aged 13, and her mum Sarah. The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month and offers a positive, creative, safe and relaxed space for children and young people with Type 1 Diabetes, their siblings and parents/carers to have fun, support each other, and feel no different from anyone else.
Tuesday’s session was very well attended with broad smiles and lots of laughter all round as everyone relaxed together and enjoyed a mixture of Christmas-themed art and craft activities including making decorations and Christmas crackers. Also on offer was remote control car bowling, magnetic darts, table top games and special treats in the form of face painting and from mobile beauty therapist, Charlotte Ogan who kindly offered to paint nails. There was also a Christmas present for every child to take home.
Type 1 diabetes is not related to diet or lifestyle and is an enormous and daunting challenge to manage whatever your age. Blood sugar must be checked throughout the day, and often through the night.
Insulin, carbohydrates and exercise need to be balanced to stay healthy and safe. School life can be very hard to balance with Type 1 diabetes, which can result in children and young people and their families feeling isolated and alone. GT1 offers some respite from the daily routine, where fun is top of the agenda and the smiling faces at Tuesday’s session was testament to that.
Families are now travelling from Lewes, Brighton, Redhill, Horley as there are no equivalent groups offering children the opportunity to share experiences and encourage each other with the management of their condition. With an increasing demand GT1 is in the process of becoming a small unincorporated charity, which will help with fundraising to keep the group running.
It is completely free, there are no membership fees, no entry fees and there is no commitment to be at every session. To find out more, please check out our website, gotype1.com or through Facebook by searching for GT1.
Report and picture contributed by Sarah Parrott.