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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 £3-5K seed funding

Graduating teams are supported to 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?


Eligible teams are required to:

  • Have around 5-6 people.
  • Commit to two six-month ‘cycles’.
  • Attend five workshops in each cycle.
  • Spend time between workshops developing and testing real world responses or ‘prototypes’ 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 the skills and practices of five teams 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 six-month cycles. At the kick-off workshop, five teams will join together to form the Lab community alongside our Lab hosts, who will support and guide teams throughout the cycle.

The 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. The workshops are 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, then develop and test responses or ‘prototypes’ to the Lab challenge. These responses are tested in the real world, providing early benefits for people with diabetes who experience inequality. This in-between period is called a ‘sprint’.

Virtual kick-off workshop

Wednesday 26 May 2021

10 am - 4pm

Sprint 1 Five weeks
Virtual workshop 2

Thursday 1 July 2021

10 am - 4 pm

Sprint 2 11 weeks
Virtual workshop 3

Thursday 16 September 2021

10 am - 4 pm

Sprint 3 Four weeks
Virtual workshop 4

Thursday 14 October 2021

10 am - 4 pm

Sprint 4 Five weeks
Virtual workshop 5

Thursday 18 November 2021

10 am - 4 pm

Cycle two starts in December 2021 and will follow a similar journey to cycle one. Details to follow.

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.

How to enter or join a team

There are three ways of participating in a team.

  1. You can bring a team to the Lab, with a team size of 5-6 people. Register your interest
  2. You can join as an individual and you will be assigned to join a team. If there are not enough people signed up from your local area you will join a team from elsewhere. Register your interest.
  3. If you want to build a team from your local area but don't know where to start, we can help you gather one. Contact us for a conversation about convening a team in your local area.


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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