Tania, Community Champion Volunteer
“Hi, my name is Tania and I am a Community Champion for Diabetes UK. As Community Champions, our role is to engage with BAME communities about diabetes and diabetes prevention. We do so by promoting healthy lifestyle changes and make sure that we acknowledge cultures, traditions, and habits. We then offer advice and guidance for an effective behaviour change.
This role supports people living with diabetes and people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by listening to the concerns of someone with diabetes or someone who has a strong family history of diabetes. We understand and acknowledge their concerns. We then give them the right advice and encourage them to change their unhealthy behaviours. We acknowledge, we understand, we give choices, and we signpost.
I enjoy volunteering as a Community Champion because it is an opportunity for me to have an impact on someone’s life and encourage people on a journey towards change. I can help people understand how to better manage their blood glucose levels to avoid complications. I have gained experience in organising events and volunteering at a local level. I work closely with a local temple to set up awareness stands.
I learn from the events that we do. I learn about how we can encourage people towards a path where they can reduce their risk of diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Because I understand my community, I can give personalised and individualised help. I can relate to them and it is rewarding to lead with my own experience. I am able to be the bridge between healthcare professionals and patients.
I’ve also been able to put my knowledge into practice personally and implement positive changes in my own life. Since volunteering for Diabetes UK as a Community Champion, I have lost weight and made positive changes in my family as well.”