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Actor James Norton reads Welsh children’s book about managing diabetes

Dr Rose Stewart with actor James Norton

Clinical Psychologist and Diabetes UK Clinical Champion Dr Rose Stewart from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is having her 2021 children’s book ‘How to Manage a Mammoth’ read this week on CBeebies Bedtime Stories, by actor James Norton as part of Diabetes Week 2024.

Rose wrote the book in 2021 in collaboration with NHS Wales, published by Cambridge University Press, for children living with type 1 diabetes and their families to help them better understand and manage the condition.

Dr Rose Stewart said: “I felt strongly that I wanted to create something to help children and families come to terms with the emotional side of living with type 1 diabetes, as it’s often something that’s tricky to handle.

“The story encourages children to think of their diabetes as an animal, something which will not go away but which they can learn to manage.

“It centres around eight-year-old Jake, whose diabetes creature is Mel the Mammoth, with help from his family, they try to shrink the mammoth so it isn’t so big!”

Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, Rachel Burr said: “Dr Stewart has been a huge part of the Diabetes UK family for many years both as a clinical champion and the Wales Advisory Council and we have been sharing this fantastic book with children and young people we work with who are living with type 1.

“We were thrilled to learn that such a huge name likes James was keen to read the book as part of Diabetes Week 2024.”

James, most well known for starring in Happy Valley, Grantchester and McMafia on the BBC and has been living with type 1 since the age of 22. Asked about his diabetes creature, he told the BBC his creature is Bruce, a big shaggy dog.

“When I first got Bruce, he was a puppy. He was difficult to control because he was always overexcited. Now he’s a big older and calmer.

“He still gets scared when someone’s at the door or he’s hungry. And then he barks very loudly. Bruce is my pal. I’m pleased to say that today Bruce is under control and very calm, which makes me feel happy and relaxed.”

The team at Diabetes UK Cymru will be holding an exclusive watch party on Friday evening for children, young people and their families living with type 1 in Wales.