The Pendsey Trust recently caught up with Paul Buchanan, founder of The Great Britain Diabetes Online Community – or #gbdoc as it’s known amongst its followers. The #gbdoc is a global community of people with diabetes who are all there to support one another. It’s made up of a number of communities based on Twitter and guest blogs.
After being inspired by the work of the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy group in the US, Paul launched #gbdoc in the UK back in August 2012. Since then, it has become a global community with social media outreach in 14 countries, and that’s growing.
The #gbdoc is one of the most active diabetes communities in the world, attracting over 2,500 contributors from 25 countries. In fact, it reached 35 million people in its first year. Paul notes that the appetite for sharing within the community isn’t limited by language or country. That’s thanks to volunteers who subscribe to the founding principles of the #gbdoc and have created local language versions of the community. Paul wants to make the community inclusive, and hopes that by creating a conversation in hard-to-reach areas, the social stigma attached to diabetes in some countries will one day be a thing of the past.
Paul tells The Pendsey Trust that the issues facing people with diabetes are not the same all over the world. “We are incredibly fortunate in Europe in that we have unrestricted access to insulin – this is not true elsewhere in the world,” says Paul. “People with diabetes are still struggling to gain access to the most basic needs in many countries.”
We are proud to count Paul as one of our supporters, and we continue to support his fantastic community.