Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s official charity is looking to help reduce the number of people in Sussex at threat of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Albion in the Community (AITC) runs an array of health projects across the county and has now teamed up with a host of local bodies to launch a diabetes prevention scheme.
Figures released this month revealed that almost 160,000 people in Sussex are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes – with almost £27million being spent locally to treat the condition.
Public Health England has called for more to be done to prevent the estimated 22,000 early deaths attributed to Type 2 diabetes each year nationally and Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, recently warned that unless the country get better at preventing Type 2 diabetes the amount the NHS spends managing the illness will spiral to unsustainable levels.
In an effort to help address the problem locally AITC is helping to run free support programmes aimed at residents who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
One such scheme recently launched in Mid Sussex, where an estimated 6,000 people already have Type 2 diabetes and the number of people believed to be living with the condition without a diagnosis runs into four figures.
The charity has joined forces with Mid Sussex Wellbeing, which is run by the local council and other partners, in a bid to show people how they can make changes to their lives to help reduce the risk of developing the condition.
A series of free, half-day courses will be running regularly at GP surgeries in Burgess Hill, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath until February next year and a similar project is also being run in Worthing and the wider West Sussex area.
Jenny Hacker, AITC’s head of health and wellbeing, urged people to take advantage of the free schemes in their area.
She said: “Many people have diabetes for years without realising it.
“It’s really important to spot the signs early and take action to prevent being on medication for life, particularly if you have family with diabetes or if you are overweight or obese.
“We recognise that it can be really difficult for people to kick start healthier lifestyles. That’s where our programme comes in.”
For more information, or to book a place on the diabetes prevention programme, call the Mid Sussex Wellbeing team on 01444 477191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on similar projects being run elsewhere in Sussex, email email@example.com or call 01903 221450.
Report contributed by Richard Morris.