We have brought together healthcare professionals and leading figures from across Bolton at an event to highlight the impact of their Community Champion programme.
The event, which was held on 21 December at the Holiday Inn on Higher Bridge Street, celebrated the success of the one year project along with the work of the Community Champions in Bolton.
With over 19,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in Bolton, we, with the support of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bolton, have trained 100 Community Champions from all backgrounds to improve health outcomes for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, who we know can be two to four times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. 18% of Bolton’s population come from BAME communities.
The community champions help people understand their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, recommend GP appointments where necessary, and raise awareness of the risk factors of the condition. They also support people who are already diagnosed with diabetes to better self-manage the condition.
Sarbori Basu, from Bolton, who has been trained as a Diabetes UK Community Champion through the programme said:
“As a trained champion I have been involved in road shows and various events involving the Asian elderly community in Bolton. During the presentations and sessions which I conduct, people in the community can express their concerns about their condition. Language is at the heart of raising awareness and since I speak the language which they understand, they interact with me in a relaxed and non-hesitant manner. It gives them the opportunity to learn about other people’s experiences and this develops a sense of belonging within the community.
“The impact of raising awareness about diabetes is quite considerable. This could have a far-reaching benefit in the wider community in Bolton and also help in better self-management and to access necessary healthcare intervention in a timely manner.”
Dr Harni Bharaj, Consultant Physician in Diabetes at the Royal Bolton Hospital, said:
“I am very proud to have been part of the Community Champions programme in Bolton. The programme demonstrates what can be achieved if we all work together. The champions have managed to reach and engage people in ways that health care professionals on their own can never do. They have made a significant impact in educating and helping people adopt healthier lifestyles, the cornerstone of initially preventing and then managing Type 2 diabetes.”
Jasmin Chowdhury, Diabetes UK Partnerships Delivery Manager said: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition that, 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.
“Community Champions have made a hugely positive difference in Bolton, giving people across the area the best chance of living long, healthy lives by helping to raise awareness of diabetes and how people can reduce their risk of developing the condition. The programme has had a real impact and we hope the work of Community Champions will continue to improve the lives of people in Bolton in the long-term.”
Find out more about our Community Champion programme.