More than 30 Diabetes Community Champions have been celebrated for spreading the word about diabetes among at-risk ethnic minority communities. The Champions were recognised for their efforts at an awards event attended by Diabetes UK Chief Executive Barbara Young.
Raising local awareness
Diabetes UK developed Community Champions training courses so that health trainers and religious and community leaders, often from ethnic minority backgrounds, could learn about Type 2 diabetes, the risk factors and symptoms, and the myths and misconceptions about the condition found in some cultures. They then go out into the community to raise local awareness by holding events, giving presentations and carrying out risk assessments for people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
People of an African-Carribbean background are up to three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, and South Asian people are up to six times more likely.
Midway through the 18-month project in Hammersmith and Fulham, 31 people have been trained. There have already been 23 events, including health fairs and community meetings. More than 900 people have attended the events, with an average of 85 per cent of people from black and ethnic minority communities.
Juliet O’Brien, the Diabetes UK North London Diverse Communities Officer who co-ordinated the training, said, "Diabetes is a serious condition that has serious complications if not diagnosed early enough or if it is not managed effectively. Diabetes Champions regularly get out to minority ethnic communities, and by doing so they improve the understanding and awareness of diabetes and help to identify people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
"I’m very pleased that the Champions are being recognised for the work they’re doing, and we hope to train many more people to spread the word about diabetes in their local communities."
Diabetes UK was commissioned to carry out the Community Champions training by NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and NHS Harrow, supported by funding from CLAHRC for Northwest London.
Get in touch
To find out more about Diabetes Community Champions, email the team onCommunityChampions@diabetes.org.uk.