Currently, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK is estimated at 3.5 million, with a further 550,000 undiagnosed. These 4 million people are 6% of the UK population or 1 in every 16 and this total is set to rise to 5 million by 2025.
Type 2 diabetes in particular has been growing at a particularly high rate and is now one of the world’s most common long term health conditions. Diabetes is a major public health problem that is approaching epidemic proportions globally.
If you’d like to get involved, Diabetes UK have a new project in Staines, Surrey to help the community improve their health by taking diabetes seriously. They’re recruiting Diabetes Community Champion volunteers to inspire community members to reduce their risk of diabetes or manage their diabetes better.
We heard from one of their current community champion volunteers:
I attended the Community Champion’s programme which was a two-day intensive training. I learned a lot about diabetes, diet and exposed to some culturally tailored information on how I can best manage the condition and prevent complications. This helped me to check on my own eating habits and change my lifestyle. My main aim for signing-up to become a community champion and attending the training is to have a good knowledge of the condition and to give back to my community.
Diabetes UK’s Community Champions programme helps us to have the right knowledge and skills by educating everyone in the local community. This is my personal story but I know there are similar stories among others who are trained as Community Champions. They changed their eating habits and made changes in their lifestyle, I support this Programme because it is beneficial to the community and to the NHS. The money spend on diabetes care in NHS could be halved by the successful delivery of the Community Champions Programme.
Why is Diabetes UK focusing on Staines? The Project Coordinator Lieneke Eleveld told us:
With this project we would like to reach out to the population most at risk for diabetes. People from South Asian, African-Caribbean and Black African origin are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop diabetes than their counterparts and therefore an important target group. In Spelthorne (Staines) 12.7% of the population is from a non-white ethnic background. It has therefore the second highest population from a non-white background in the regions covered by this project. Besides the diverse population Staines also has some of the most deprived areas in North West Surrey, including Stanwell and Ashford. People living in more deprived areas typically experience poorer health outcomes. By targeting people from diverse and deprived communities we hope to tackle a diabetes crisis within the people most at risk.
This is great opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to the health of your community. Why not take a look at the role description and contact email@example.com if you’d like to discuss this role or other volunteering options.