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The Tackling Inequality in Diabetes Lab

The Tackling Inequality in Diabetes Lab is a bold, bottom-up strategic response to the challenge of improving outcomes for people with diabetes who experience inequalities.  

We are seeking five exceptional teams to work with us

Each team is provided with skills development and coaching

Each team is supported with seed funding

Graduating teams are supported to test and scale up successful responses to the Lab challenge


Based on factors outside their direct control, people with diabetes experience systematic, unfair and avoidable differences in their diabetes, the care and treatment they receive and the opportunities they have to lead healthy lives.

How do we begin to make sense of the harm inequality does to people with diabetes? Diabetes does not affect everyone equally and the interactions between different kinds of inequality, and the factors that drive them, are often complex and interrelated.

We also know that inequalities related to ethnicity and deprivation can lead to some of the poorest outcomes for people with diabetes. And the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on inequalities are likely to be profound. But inequality in diabetes is not inevitable.

This Lab focuses on addressing the challenge: How can we tackle inequality in diabetes?


You can join the Lab as an established team, or an individual with the intention of forming a team during the Lab. 

Eligible teams are required to:

  • Have around 5-6 people.
  • Commit to the first 3 month cycle.
  • Attend two workshops in each cycle.
  • Spend time between workshops developing strategic, actionable response to the Lab challenge.

We are seeking to work with people who:

  • Believe change is possible, and that change starts with how we talk to each other about inequality.
  • Have big ambitions to reduce the harm inequality does to people with diabetes.
  • Commit to working in a diverse community and value diverse perspectives and experiences.
  • Challenge the status quo, take risks and are open to doing things differently.


  1. To grow an extraordinary community of people committed to tackling inequalities in diabetes. 
  2. To build teams with the skills and practices to tackle inequality in diabetes.
  3. To positively impact the lives of people with diabetes who experience inequality within 18 months of launch.

How it works 

The Lab operates in cycles. 

The exploratory workshops create the space for teams to develop an understanding of the inequalities that exist in their local area and how these inequalities are affecting people with diabetes. Participants work with our hosts and coaches to determine whether the Lab approach will work for them.

Participants joining the first 3 month Lab cycle form a Lab community through which they share learning and draw on expertise from others. Workshops provide touch points for teams to review progress, share learning and plan next steps to give focus to the time between workshops.

Between workshops, teams deepen their understanding of their local context, establish the resources they need to tackle the challenge and connect with a network of people at the heart of the challenge. This in-between period is called a ‘sprint’.

Participants complete the first cycle with a clear, actionable, strategic approach for tackling the inequality in diabetes. This leads to responses that provide early and direct benefits to people with diabetes who experience inequality. 

The follow-up cycle, starting from Autumn 2021, supports established teams to develop and test responses to the strategic challenge they determined in the first cycle. 


We expect to run different Lab cycles depending on demand. These will run from July to November and dates will be confirmed once we know more about our Lab teams' needs. 

Who the Lab is for

The Lab is for anyone who wants to be a part of an extraordinary community of people committed to tackling inequality in diabetes.

You might be:

  • A team of professionals or colleagues
  • A group of people with or affected by diabetes
  • A committed group of friends
  • A diverse group of citizens in your local area
  • A team of students
  • An individual seeking to join together with like-minded others.


Expressions of interest for our 2021 Tackling Inequality Lab are now closed. If you are interested in future Labs, please email and we will be in touch when future dates are confirmed. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

Jamila, Tamsyn, Ben, Francesca (the Lab hosting team). 

This is a Diabetes UK project. Boehringer Ingelheim have partnered with Diabetes UK and provided funding for this project and input into its development. There was no involvement or influence in its conceptualisation or delivery.

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