This Black History Month X Factor winner Alexandra Burke and entrepreneur Levi Roots are backing Diabetes UK’s call to get more people involved in raising awareness of the signs and risks of Type 2 diabetes through the charity’s Community Champions programme.
Derrick ‘Mr Motivator’ Evans, gospel singer Annastasia Baker, DJ Eddie Nestor, TV personality Rustie Lee and celebrity personal trainer Steve Agyei are also urging people to sign up who are passionate about tackling Type 2 diabetes in their communities.
People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities can be two to four times more likely than average to develop Type 2 diabetes, yet simple lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce the risk of developing the condition or help manage it well.
Diabetes UK says the Community Champions of all backgrounds have an important role in helping tackle the growing diabetes crisis in the UK, so is looking for more volunteers to spread the word in schools, community centres, places of worship and health centres.
Finding out their Type 2 risk
Thousands of people around the country are already finding out about their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, reducing their risk, and better self-managing the condition, thanks to the existing Community Champions.
Krishna Sarda, Engaging Communities Manager at Diabetes UK, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition which, left undiagnosed or untreated, can lead to devastating health complications such as stroke, blindness and amputation. However, identified and managed well this doesn’t have to be the case.
“Our Community Champions are making a hugely positive difference, getting people to take Type 2 diabetes more seriously, giving them the best chance of living long, healthy lives. With the help of our celebrity supporters we hope more people will volunteer to help us share this message.”
The X Factor winner and star of The Bodyguard and Sister Act, said: “No-one knows your local community and the people in it better than you do. Train up as a Community Champion with Diabetes UK. It’s a great way to find out about Type 2 diabetes, and you can help people to reduce their risk of developing the condition, or manage it if they already have it.”
The chef and entrepreneur, said: “Changing how we eat and exercise can sound like a tough job, but without action, millions of us are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Black and South Asian people tend to develop it at a much younger age, so this is something we need to recognise is big! The Diabetes UK Community Champions programme is a fantastic way to help people to change their diet and lifestyle to help them to take control.”
Derrick 'Mr Motivator' Evans
Fitness expert Mr Motivator said: “Oh Gang, you know me. I am all about getting everyone to adopt a sensible eating plan, and to move it to lose it. If you have the same desire as me, then why don't you sign up and train as a Community Champion, so that you can then motivate others in your community and teach them about how they can tackle their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. So don't delay, sign up today, say yeah!”
The gospel singer and former contestant on The X Factor, said: “My daughter has Type 1 diabetes but lots of us know someone who is living with Type 2 diabetes – our friends, our families and people in our communities. If people are helped to manage it then they can live long and healthy lives, but that is only possible if people get help and support to live well. The Community Champions programme will help you make a real difference in people’s lives, which sounds incredibly rewarding.”
The personal trainer to celebrities including Emma Bunton and Cherie Blair said: “We can all take steps to reduce our risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, from finding healthier ways to cook our food to taking more exercise. People from Black and South Asian communities are at increased risk of developing Type 2 but you can help. Join the Community Champions programme and Diabetes UK to help people find out how to tackle it now.”
The DJ on BBC Radio London’s drivetime show, said: “The Community Champions programme from Diabetes UK needs people who are at the heart of their communities to help reach as many people as possible. That means helping others find out how much they are at risk of Type 2 diabetes, but also helping those who have the condition to see how serious it can be if they don’t make changes to their diet and lifestyle to take control.”
The TV personality and chef, said: “It’s a sad fact that the Afro-Caribbean community are often more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than the white population. Signing up to be one of Diabetes UK’s Community Champions gives you a chance to train up on what Type 2 diabetes is, get out into the community to meet with people, and help those around you to avoid or manage one of the biggest health risks we face. If you can get involved, that would be fantastic.”