THE spotlight was turned on diabetes at an awareness-raising event held in South Tyneside.
People across the borough were invited to South Shields Library to mark World Diabetes Day, held yesterday.
Throughout the event, organised by South Tyneside Diabetes UK Voluntary Group, a range of organisations were on hand to offer visitors information on the blood-sugar condition which affects about 8,000 people in the borough.
Lead campaigner Clare Allom said: “I am very passionate about raising awareness of diabetes, as I think it’s a poor relation when it comes to awareness compared to other illnesses, but it is such an important issue.
“Events like this one help to put the issue into the spotlight and help raise awareness.”
Activities aimed at helping to boost people’s health were staged, including sessions in Zumba, while pupils from Marine Park Primary School were also on hand to offer their support to the cause.
Emma Cook, deputy headteacher at the school, said: “It is such a good cause, and we were only too pleased to come along and do our bit in helping to increase awareness.
“Some of the pupils did not know anything about diabetes until now, and it is something we have spoken about in lessons, so now not only are they more aware of the condition, they will also go home and speak to their families about the issue.”
Also present was the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson, who said: “Raising awareness of diabetes is vitally important.
“There are a lot of people who may be living with the condition, but have no idea they actually have it.
“It is so important for anyone who suspects they may have diabetes to contact their GP, as left untreated it can seriously affect your health.
“This is why events like this, on World Diabetes Day, are vital to raising awareness and to also highlight the agencies out there who can help and support people who are living with the condition.
“We are proud as a council to have been involved in this event, and to mark the day by bathing South Shields Town Hall in blue light – the colour adopted to promote diabetes.”