Diabetes help for Bellarine

Organisers of the peer support group Lesley Gordon and Eddie Gaskin.

A new peer support group for people with type 2 diabetes has been launched for the first time on the Bellarine.

Monthly meetings will be held at Bellarine Community Health’s Portarlington site, giving participants an opportunity to discuss their condition in a supportive environment.

Group ambassadors Lesley Gordon and Eddie Gaskin created the group after having completed Bellarine Community Health’s eight week EMPOWER workshop program, which is a combination of education and exercise designed to empower people living with type 2 diabetes to self-manage effectively.

“There’s nothing like our peer support program on the Bellarine or in the Geelong region that we are aware of,” Mr Gaskin said.

“We wanted to help people take the next step after they finish the EMPOWER program.

“You think you know everything and then people come in and tell you their stories and you think, I wasn’t aware of that, and that’s empowering.”

Lesley Gordon, 82, said the peer support group is designed to continue that supportive environment beyond the workshop program.

“People have different problems with diabetes and it’s good to share those stories with other people because you feel supported by everyone else.”

The peer support group will meet every three weeks on a Wednesday at the BCH Portarlington site.

There will be a one-hour social support group session and the option of a one-hour exercise session in the gymnasium at Portarlington.

If using the gym facilities, peer support group members are agreeing to the BCH conditions of entry and code of conduct. A $5 attendance fee is required per gym visit.

The peer support group will provide coffee and afternoon tea with a gold coin donation.

For more information, contact Lesley Gordon on lesley.gordon80@gmail.com or Eddie Gaskin on eddiegaskin@outlook.com.

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