The YES initiative – Youth Empowerment Skills – was highly commended in the ‘Empowering People with Diabetes – Children, Young People and Emerging Adults’ category of the Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes National Awards on 13 October.
Gaining QiC recognition means that an initiative has been highlighted by patients, healthcare professionals and industry experts as improving the quality of life for people with diabetes.
Dr Dulmini Kariyawasam, consultant in diabetes and the clinical lead for the initiative, says: “The YES programme was co-designed and co-delivered by young people. It aims to foster self-confidence and strengthen engagement with diabetes care by using novel educational strategies including simulation, peer-led sessions, peer to peer support and fun activities. We also use social media to keep young people in touch with each other.
“Working together with primary care through the Well Centre, a youth health centre in Streatham, and Red Thread, a local youth worker charity, are key features that have enabled the outreach engagement work.
“The programme has increased engagement of young people with type 1 diabetes in their care and we are also seeing a clinically important improvement in diabetes control. We are grateful to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and to Lambeth and Southwark Clinical Commissioning Groups for funding this project.”
The YES programme is delivered by the young people’s diabetes team which consists of Dr Kariyawasam, Siobhan Pender, Marie Jones, Orleas Mullings, Penny Jackson and Stephanie Singham. Tom Antebi, a community-based youth worker, has also been an integral part of the programme.