Boxmoor man joins EastEnders star in contributing to new book on diabetes

A Hemel Hempstead man who has diabetes is backing the launch of a new campaign and free book to help others with the condition.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 20th February 2016, 7:00 am
Jonny Labey, who plays Paul Croker in EastEnders
Jonny Labey, who plays Paul Croker in EastEnders

Leslie Packer, 66, who lives in Boxmoor, has contributed to the book 100 things I wish I’d known about diabetes, published by Diabetes UK.

It is full of everyday tips offered by people living with diabetes for other people living with diabetes, their families and friends, and also contains tips from celebrities who have the condition.

Leslie, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2013, was selected from more than 1,100 tips submitted.

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Les Packer

His published tip is: “Check your blood glucose before brushing your teeth at night in case you need a bedtime snack.”

Sharon Roberts, Diabetes UK eastern head, said: “We are really grateful to Leslie for drawing on his own experience of living with diabetes to share advice with others who are affected by the condition in our new book.

“Every two minutes someone is diagnosed with diabetes and people often tell us they are left in despair and feel like they have no-one to turn to. But that doesn’t need to be the case.

People with diabetes are the real experts in living with the condition and this is why we have published this book, bringing together pieces of advice from people with the condition across every part of life with diabetes.

Les Packer

“Having this book is like having a best friend in the room who knows exactly what you are going through and who can offer tried and tested advice. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, if you’ve just been diagnosed or you’ve had diabetes for many years, this book offers invaluable support and insight.”

New figures released by the charity show that 700 people a day are diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and says that people often say their diabetes diagnosis leaves them isolated and with unanswered questions. Diabetes UK has enlisted the support of Leslie and others with experience of diabetes to share great tips and handy hints across every aspect of life with the condition, from going on holiday and eating out, working out and managing diabetes alongside work, relationships and more.

All tips submitted were reviewed by the charity’s clinical team and the final 100 tips included in the book were shortlisted by a panel of people with diabetes.

The book also contains tips from Diabetes UK celebrity supporters including actor Jonny Labey, who plays Paul Coker in EastEnders, rugby player Chris Pennell and Sky News’s Stephen Dixon, all of whom have Type 1 diabetes.

TV presenter Philip Schofield, whose mother and brother both have Type 1 diabetes, and The Hairy Bikers’ Si King, whose wife and son both have the condition, also contributed.

Jonny, who has Type 1 diabetes, said: “No-one should feel alone with their diabetes. Managing diabetes can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to stop anyone from achieving their goals. The great thing about this book is it shows how we can all support each other and this is not something we have to face all by ourselves. That’s why I’m so glad to have contributed to the book. I’d advise anyone with diabetes – whatever type they have – to get hold of a copy now.”

To order a free copy of the book, call Diabetes UK on 0800 035 5626 or visit