IN THE 20 years since a charity opened its doors, the number of people over the age of 16 with diabetes has doubled.
The Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation (DRWF) first opened its doors on Hayling Island in 1998 and has been raising awareness for the condition.
In its landmark anniversary year, the organisation has moved from Northney Marina to Langstone Technology Park, in Havant.
Over the past two decades, DRWF has funded more than £11m in research projects.
Its chief executive Sarah Tutton said the need for education and support is greater now than ever before.
It comes after the latest figures show 9,255 people in Portsmouth are living with Type 2 diabetes while in Fareham and Gosport 9,347 people have the condition.
Havant has the highest number of cases with 10,271.
Type 2 diabetes is related to lifestyle choices.
Ms Tutton said: ‘Diagnoses of all diabetes types in the UK have increased since 1998.
‘Then, around 1.8m people over the age of 16 were diagnosed with the condition to today’s more alarming figures of 3.8m.
‘It is undoubtedly the problems with Type 2 diabetes that are driving this remarkable increase.’
As well as doing important research, DRWF holds Diabetes Wellness Days across the UK including last year’s event in Whiteley which was its 10th.
They also produce a number of informative leaflets with people living with all forms of diabetes.
Ms Tutton added: ‘Last year the charity won the Quality in Care Diabetes (QiC) Judges’ Special Award for “providing an outstanding educational event programme for people with diabetes”.
‘We were also highly commended in the Empowering People with Diabetes in the Self-Management category.’
Treatment around diabetes had advanced since DRWF launched on Hayling Island and the charity is now working with multiple university and research centes.
Ms Tutton said: ‘The growing challenge of the explosion in Type 2 diabetes can only be halted with better education around healthier lifestyle choices and improved management.’