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DSN Forum Newsletter – February 2021: Introducing the Diabetes 101 website

Vicki Alabraba
, Amanda Epps
, Bethany Kelly
, Tamsin Fletcher-Salt
In their latest newsletter, the Forum introduces the new Diabetes 101 website, created by our very own Vicki Alabraba, as a repository for all the educational content created by Team Diabetes 101 over the last year.

Well, it’s a belated happy (ish) new year from the DSN Forum UK team. January has not turned out to be the start to the new year that we’d all hoped for, but the COVID-19 vaccination programme is underway, and this gives us hope that there is light at the end of this very long tunnel.

We’ve been a bit quiet of late due to the pressures in our clinical roles, as well as a side project which you’ve heard us talk about before. As you may remember, we have all been part of the @_diabetes101 Twitter team since March 2020, and this has become a project close to our hearts. Team Diabetes 101 consists of 19 UK-based MDT diabetes specialists and was initially created by Professor Partha Kar, Beth Kelly and Amanda Epps in response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the 10 months since we were formed, the team has provided 20 education sessions for people living with diabetes via Twitter, along with bank holiday quizzes, the Diabetes 101 Downloaded online conference and specific diabetes-related infographics and support. Of course, it goes without saying that we have aimed to keep it relaxed and informal, with a hint of fun along the way. Many of the team have never even met one another face to face, so this makes it all the more special that we are able to work together from multiple locations across the UK, bearing in mind that this has all been voluntary, in our own time, alongside our individual clinical roles in a very busy NHS.

The team met in December (virtually, of course) and decided that having a place to collate all of the resources we have developed was the way to move forward, and so the Team Diabetes 101 website was born:

Are we experts in web design? No, but Vicki, who put together the new sparkly DSN Forum UK website, thought, “What shall I do over the Christmas holidays? I know – build another website!” Who knew that being a nurse would ever involve web design?!

Fast forward two or three weeks and the Team Diabetes 101 website was launched on 11th January 2021: 99 years to the day that insulin was first used to treat a 14-year-old boy with type 1 diabetes called Leonard Thompson.

What can be found on the website?

On the home page, there is an introductory vlog by Partha Kar explaining how Team Diabetes 101 came about, followed by related articles about the launch and progress of Team Diabetes 101. You will also find a selection of photos from our Twitter account, along with links to our YouTube channel. Next, you can move onto the About us page to meet the team and explore its vision, before perusing our resources specifically designed for people living with diabetes.


We have a dedicated COVID-19 and diabetes page, which addresses many FAQs regarding diabetes and lockdown number 3. It also signposts visitors to accredited COVID-19 vaccination links, along with our own infographic, put together by Beth Kelly and Dr Rose Stewart, about diabetes and vaccination. Another great resource on this page are the links to explanations about diabetes and COVID-19 vaccinations in multiple different languages, which have been voluntarily co-ordinated by Partha Kar and other diabetes specialists across the UK.

Moving on to the other pages on the website, we have all of our 20 tweetorials, which are freely accessible to download. There is also all of the nine Diabetes 101 Downloaded online conference sessions, which aired in the summer of 2020.

We have an infographics page featuring specific diabetes-related infographics from Dr Rose Stewart, Dr Rebecca Thomas (aka The Queen of Eyes) and the DSN Forum UK. There is also a page dedicated to all of our quizzes that we have run on Twitter, with downloadable answers. Also included is our Getting Active initiative, called #RunDMC25K, where we collaborated with Paul Coker to encourage people to get active after lockdown 1 –  we had team runs, team walks, team bikes and team whatever-activity-you-can-manage-or-that-floats-your-boat!

More recently, we have added a new page called A week in the life, which this follows different members of the team each week doing their day jobs, to gain insight into what diabetes MDT healthcare professionals do on a day-to-day basis, and to highlight how all our roles differ but how we are all working towards the same goal of continuing to provide high-quality, evidence-based care and support to people living with diabetes.

Although the website is designed for people living with diabetes, anyone can use it, and non-diabetes-specialist healthcare professionals may find it a useful resource to gain a greater understanding of the different aspects of diabetes care, or simply as a signpost for people living with diabetes.

Again, the website can be found here and we hope you find it useful. Until the next time, stay safe and look after yourselves – you are all doing an amazing job. Oh, and by the way, on 23rd March it is Team Diabetes 101’s first birthday, so stay tuned for some virtual celebrations!

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