Members of the Whanganui branch of Diabetes NZ have set up a physical office after discovering "nobody knew we existed".

Branch president Helen Ashton said they had a stall at the riverside markets on the last Saturday of every month, but they often had people saying they hadn't realised there was such a group in Whanganui.

"So we decided it would be a good idea if we had an office at one place where people could ring us and come and see us."

Mrs Ashton said they did not have a phone set up yet, but they now had an office in Community House in Ridgway St.


"They can come and talk to us, get some information, frighten themselves stupid."

She pointed to a poster of the wall that labelled all the different areas of the body that could be affected if people with diabetes were not careful with their lifestyle.

"That's what we're promoting," she said.

The office will be open from 10am-2pm, Monday to Friday.

"We can't give medical advice but we can say, 'Hey, stop eating all these things'." They also had pamphlets and other educational material on hand.

Committee member and event coordinator Irene O'Regan said they were "worried" starting up the office as all of their money had to be fundraised.

"So if anybody loves us, please," Mrs Ashton added.

Mrs O'Regan said if they could not fundraise the money needed for their activities, then they were funding it themselves.

She was also hoping to create a list of hobby groups and get them to join an expo with them in November.

Mrs O'Regan said depression often accompanied diabetes, and it would be good for those attending the expo to be able to look into hobbies to help combat the depression.

Mrs Ashton said the Community House had been "very welcoming". She wanted to thank their sponsors too. "They know who they are," she said.