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Event highlights work of Diabetes UK community champions in Bolton

Diabetes UK bring together healthcare professionals and leading figures within Bolton and Greater Manchester at an event to highlight the impact of their community champion programme.

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The event, which was held on 1 November at the 3D Centre, shared the successes the two year project has had in its first year in Bolton. The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Roger Hayes and Dr Richard Preece, Executive Lead for Quality with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership attended the event. .

Over 18,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes in Bolton. Diabetes UK, with the support of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bolton, have trained over 54 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 per cent of Bolton’s population is from BAME communities.

The community champions have helped people find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, recommended GP appointments where necessary, and raised awareness of the risk factors of the condition. They have also supported people who are already diagnosed with diabetes to better self-manage.

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 roadshows and various events involving the Asian elderly community. I am passionate about promoting health and wellbeing through lifestyle changes and raising awareness of the risks of Type 2 diabetes.

“During the presentations and sessions, people in the community can express their concerns about their condition. Language is at the heart of raising awareness. 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 really excited about the joint work Bolton FT and DUK are doing on the Community Champions programme. The work of the Community Champions has already demonstrated a positive impact on the lives of people with diabetes and their carers. The programme has enormous potential. We now need to unlock this potential and scale up the programme so that the whole of the Bolton population can benefit. I truly believe that this is the future for helping difficult to reach groups better self-manage their diabetes and helping prevent the condition for those at risk.”

Diabetes UK are still looking for people who are passionate about tackling the rise of Type 2 diabetes to get trained as Community Champions in Bolton. To find out more, head to our community champion pages.

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