The Origins of Diabetes UK

The Origins of Diabetes UK: The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and War of the Worlds made H.G. Wells a master craftsman of science fiction and paved the way for modern science fiction writers.

Born to a family of common laborers it was a health issue that may have cause Herbert George Wells to see something more for his life than being a draper’s apprentice.

It was another health issue later in life that caused him to consider the possibility of leaving a legacy for those who must deal with diabetes.

At first Wells did not recognize what he could do to be a change maker in the culture of diabetes. There is an indication that by the early 1930’s Wells was no longer wealthy and was receiving care for diabetes from Dr. R.D. Lawrence. In 1933 Lawrence sent letters to patients asking for their help in establishing an in-patient care center for diabetics at the King’s College Hospital. Wells sent a small contribution, but felt there was little more he could do.  When Dr. Lawrence confronted Wells on his smaller than expected gift Wells felt compelled to write a letter to The Times asking for the assistance of the English population to make the facility a reality.



The people of England had not forgotten the much loved science fiction writer. They responded beyond all expectations and Lawrence soon had the facility he was after. Wells was so moved by the outpouring he wrote a separate letter within a year that outlined the potential of creating an organization dedicated to those who lived with diabetes. Wells wrote of the organization by saying its intent was, “To promote the study, the diffusion of knowledge, and the proper treatment of diabetes in this country.”

The public poured out their support for the idea and the organization now known as Diabetes UK was established. Wells used his disease and name recognition to establish something that may prove to be equal in timelessness to his novels.

Today this organization is more than 75 years old and was working on self managed care as a solution to the longevity of patients several decades before most physicians conventionally accepted this truth.

H.G. Wells wasn’t the only celebrity to voice support for Diabetes UK. In recent years more than 20 English stars have lent their support and name to the goals and objectives of the organization. Today more than 400 local groups in England have linked with this organization to provide thousands of residents with information they need to make positive choices when dealing with their disease.

The Diabetes UK website indicates the following milestones…

  • 170,000 members.
  • Answer over 200 enquiries a day.
  • Spend up to £7.3 million a year on diabetes research.
  • Produce a wide range of magazines, books and leaflets covering all aspects of diabetes.
  • Run care support events, family days, conferences courses and roadshows.

Media volunteers with Diabetes UK are routinely called on by radio, television and print organizations to lend a human and expert touch to stories they may be covering that deal with diabetes.

Diabetes UK is the oldest organization of its kind in England and its founders would be gratified to learn of the advances in diabetes management and the information that is regularly distributed through this worthwhile organization.