The Dream Becomes A Reality

2013 has been a magnificent year for Diabetes Insight/Helena Farrell Consultancy. With new collaborations, expansions of services, little did I either hope or realise I would be ending it relocating to my own download (1)independent practice…..a dream I aspired to for years….that has now become a reality.

I began this year in a very uncertain place, after leaving the comfort of a part time HSE job, I began the road of self employment and entrepreneurship, not knowing what lay ahead. I got the usual raising of eyebrows and scorn from a few, who always say ‘she is mad’, ‘she will exhaust herself eventually’. Their response is as predictable as the Irish weather, so they are to be ignored; they are few and far between I have to say.

Some people may say I am an overnight success and who does she think she is, which gauls me if I am honest, I am ploughing the hard tough road of part time sole trader for six years, it is only in 2013 I finally made the decision to go full time, and what a great decision that has been.

Many people might question the role of nurses in self employment and entrepreneurship. These to me are people who are naive, certainly not creative thinkers, who obviously believe a nurses role is best served solely at the bedside. These are probably the same people who believe a woman’s role is only in the kitchen.

Vindication & Passion

I am passionate about diabetes and self management in diabetes. So much so that I spent the last 3 years studying and researching to gain an MSc in Diabetes and when I go to the UK to the University of Warwick in January 2014 to accept my award, I will feel somewhat vindicated. Vindicated that all the hard work, challenges, lack of belief, frustration and begrudgery from others will all have been worth it. I have studied other services, built up relationships with health care professionals and services worldwide, I have researched at length all aspects of the development & provision of a service like mine to ensure it is of the highest quality and meets best evidence based practice.

I have built a service that I believe in 100% and I am passionate about. My life is dedicated to helping people with diabetes. My decision to do this privately has been questioned by many, mainly those that work in the public sector. The reason is, I could not offer the same level of service and develop it within the public sector as I could do privately. My decision to develop a private service is not financially driven. I have the same over inflated Celtic tiger mortgage, debt laden life that most people have. I drive a 06 clapped out Volkswagen with a leaking valve that I can not afford to replace. I have not taken a holiday abroad in over 8 years, choosing to invest that money instead in gaining a masters. I lie awake at night wondering how I am going to pay the bills. I dread the postman in the morning, with the letter box rattling with more bills. Every penny that has been taken from clients, has gone straight back into the service, and I think the proof is in how the service has grown year on year. In a time where people are more discerning with their money, people want value for money and they want to see where it is going. My hope is that from the minute people walk into my new premises what they see and experience will prove just that.

I love what I doApproach-your-work-with-Passion-and-Jump-all-your-Obstacles

I love what I do, and I love to see other people benefiting from the service that I have developed. The letters and emails of thanks, the testimonials from health care professionals and clients alike. The development of taking a suggestion from a client such as a cookery course for people with diabetes and making it a reality. All this motivates me even more, spurs me on and makes me believe even more that this is a service that is worth developing and investing in.

The Personal Journey

I live with someone who has diabetes, I see the day to day realities, which helps me understand the challenges and burdens that it brings. The blood sugar of 30.6mmol/l post Christmas dinner and the walk at 9pm in a stormy night to bring it down. The snacking before bedtime to avoid the possible low we are predicting that will come. The rebound blood sugars waking in the morning and spending the rest of the day organizing your life around them in an attempt to regain control. The utter frustration at another high HbA1c level despite all best attempts, the praying and hoping with each retinopathy screening that the all clear will be given. I have seen and felt it all and it motivates me and inspires me even more to drive the service that I have developed even further to help those who find themselves overwhelmed by their diabetes.

New Beginnings

So on Monday, the 6th Jan 2014, the doors will open in Helena Farrell Consultancy/Diabetes Insight in my new location of Convent House, Convent Avenue, Blackrock, Cork. With fully equipped offices, a reception area and meeting room, I hope that seeds that has been carefully sown over the last 6 years will begin to bear fruit. With a range of services such as one-to-one diabetes consultations, weight management, personal fitness training, personal food shopping service, preventative health screening, corporate health events, cookery courses and workshops, I hope that all aspects of diabetes & lifestyle management will be catered for from the new premises. With collaborations, expansions and books in the pipeline, it is an exciting time for both me and the business and I am really looking forward to what 2014 will bring.

My New Years Wish for You

But at the heart of all this is you, the people who have supported both me and the service, who believed in me and what I am trying to achieve. All this is down to you and because of you. Without your belief, strength, conviction, motivation and support, there would be no service, I would not be here. So thank you from the bottom of my heart, to my family and friends for putting up with me, to all my clients for believing in me, to all my social media followers on Twitter & Facebook for your support, there are no words that will ever repay you enough.

So on New Years Eve as we say goodbye to 2013 and embrace 2014, it is important not to look back in sadness, but to look forward with hope in our hearts and to be grateful, no matter how desperate things may seem. I know there are people out there who are alone, who are going through terrible times. Reach out and believe, trust and have faith someone will help.

I wish you all good health, fortune, success, peace in your heart and soul, blessings and joy for the year ahead. Live Life and Be Strong.

Ath bhliain faoi mhaise dhaoibh!!!


Helena Farrell Consultancy/Diabetes Insight has moved to Convent House, Convent Avenue, Blackrock, Cork. For all queries please phone (021) 4358960 or Mob: (086) 1739287. Email:

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