A NEW support group for diabetes patients has been launched in Burnley, as the number of people suffering from the condition continues to increase.

The charity Diabetes UK said the group will provide valuable help for patients who feel isolated and unable to cope with the disease.

Earlier this year the Lancashire Telegraph revealed how nearly eight per cent of residents in Lancashire have diabetes, compared to the national average of just six per cent.

Figures showed there were 74,885 sufferers in the county last year, up from 73,384 in 2012.

The Burnley group’s first meeting will be at Burnley Library on Monday, July 14, with the guest speakers including Dr Tom MacKenzie, of East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Gordon Dixon, chair of the Ribble Valley Diabetes Group.

Jo Cunnah, interim North West regional manager of Diabetes UK, said: “We know there are people in Burnley who have diabetes who don’t feel they have a local support network.

"This can leave them feeling isolated. Our hope for this new group is that people living with the condition will have a chance to meet others who have been through a similar life changing diagnosis. There’ll also be information and support on offer from Diabetes UK.

“I would like to encourage anyone who is affected by diabetes to join this welcoming and supportive new group.

“For the group to successfully launch, it will need an enthusiastic committee, so we’ll also be explaining about the opportunities available to anyone wanting to get involved in running the group too.”

Type 2 diabetes, which largely accounts for the increase in the condition, develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly.

Insulin enables the body to use sugar as energy and store any excess in the liver and muscle. If this fails, blood sugar rises and this can cause long-term complications, such as kidney damage. Type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.

The meeting will be at 7.30pm. For those unable to attend further information can be obtained by contacting Gayle Phillips, Diabetes UK Volunteer Development Support Officer, on 01925 644573.