Name of research project
What is the project?
Under the banner of Cities Changing Diabetes, Leicester City in the Community (LCitC), along with the Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester City Council and the other community outreach arms of Leicester’s professional sports clubs signed a Diabetes Pledge.
By signing the document, the LCitC showed its commitment to improving the city’s health by ensuring its health and wellbeing programmes were accessible, inclusive and tailored where possible.
The Centre for Ethnic Health Research and the Leicester Diabetes Centre worked with LCitC to ensure it engaged with and delivered programmes suitable for the communities they were not currently engaging with, in particular, the South Asian community.
Out of this collaboration came Healthy Goals. This 12-week education and physical activity programme is suitable and relevant for South Asian communities, delivered within Leicester’s South Asian communities in partnership between LCitC and educators at the Leicester Diabetes Centre.
The education sessions focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle through peer-led discussions, guided by a trained facilitator who uses activities and games to encourage a behaviour change.
These sessions are followed by an hour of physical activity led by a LCitC coach, utilising local amenities such as parks, outdoor gyms or leisure facilities to try new activities such as walking sports or outdoor gym demonstrations.
Key elements of Healthy Goals are:
- The culturally appropriate education sessions utilising evidence-based theory.
- The collaboration utilising the popular brand of Leicester City FC with the trusted reputation of Centre for Ethnic Health Research.
- Utilises local, preferably free community assets/amenities/facilities for the physical activity sessions to ensure physical activity can continue after the programme.
What is the aim?
There is evidence to suggest that South Asians are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and that they typically do not engage with traditional health promotion programmes locally as they are not culturally appropriate or not relevant to them.
Healthy Goals aims to promote healthy lifestyles by encouraging active discussions and physical activity sessions with Leicester’s South Asian communities.
The content is led by those who attend, but guided using culturally relevant imagery and discussion points, so they can freely talk about the difficulties they have to live a healthy lifestyle and help each other try to make small, habitual changes to their lifestyles.
Who is involved?
- Centre for Ethnic Health Research
- ARC East Midlands
- Novo Nordisk
- University College London
- Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen
- Leicester City Football Club (LCFC)
- Leicestershire County Cricket Club
- Local community groups
What are the benefits?
Research has shown that making small lifestyle changes for the better, such as reducing sitting time, increasing physical activity and improving the diet can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those who have already been diagnosed making small changes to their lifestyle could also help them to better manage their condition.