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Diabetes Community Champions


Diabetes UK is looking for Black, Asian and minority ethnic volunteers in Lewisham who have good connections with their local community to come forward to be a part of an innovative project being funded by NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group.

Lewisham CCG consulted with residents in September 2012 on how diabetes care and services could be improved for local people. Patients and their careers overwhelmingly wanted to be ‘in control of their diabetes and work together with healthcare professionals to achieve quality care’. In support of this Lewisham CCG commissioned Diabetes UK to develop the Community Champion project.

We are looking for local people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in the Lewisham area to take part in the award winning Community Champion project.
Diabetes Community Champions learn about the risk factors, symptoms, myths and misconceptions that are prevalent in some cultures. After training they go out into their communities to raise local awareness by holding events, giving talks and encouraging people at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to visit their local GP or community pharmacist for a diabetes test.

South Asian people are more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over the age of 25, rather than over 40 in the rest of the population. South Asian men are also at increased risk when their waist measures more than 25 inches, as opposed to more than 27 inches in other men.

People of African or Caribbean descent are up to three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, and if they have diabetes are four times more likely to have kidney complications and two and a half times more likely to have a stroke.

Casey Collyer, Diabetes UK Diverse Communities Officer, said: “We are delighted that the Community Champions Project has been rolled out to Lewisham. The project has seen great success over the last year throughout other areas of London, and we are looking forward to training even more champions to add to our army of volunteers.

“Raising awareness of Type 2 diabetes in minority communities is absolutely vital; people from a South Asian background are six times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and people from an African or Caribbean communities are three times more likely to develop the condition. The Community Champion project allows us to empower people and give them the information and support they need to go into their local community and let people know about the risks of Type 2 diabetes.”

Dr Hilary Entwistle, Clinical Director, for Lewisham CCG, said: “The diabetes community champion project is a great initiative, and one that we are really pleased to welcome to Lewisham. Raising awareness of diabetes in the local community is really important, and we looking forward to seeing the impact that the newly trained champions will have on their communities.”

The training will take place on Thursday 30 May and Saturday 8 June 2013. The application deadline for volunteers is Monday 20 May 2013.

To find out more about the Community Champion project in Lewisham, please then email casey.collyer@diabetes.org.uk, phone 0207 424 1832 or visit www.diabetes.org.uk