UK Charity Links Up With Students to Boost Awareness of Diabetes

by mfdfadmin on April 10, 2015

A leading diabetes charity has linked up with university students to train them to become community champions to make people aware of diabetes and how best to manage the condition.

Diabetes UK, which raises awareness and provides support for those with diabetes and those at risk of developing diabetes, in conjunction with the De Montfort University in Leicester (DMU) is training 12 students through the university’s community outreach programme.

UKmapDiabetes UK’s Engaging Communities Manager, Krishna Sarda, said that he was contacted by researchers Dr Ketan Ruparelia and Nazmin Juma at DMU with the idea of working together.

‘It’s so refreshing to see an educational organisation so keen to help us raise awareness and wanting to actually engage with their community and have a difference in people’s lives,’ he said.

‘I’m hoping that each of the DMU volunteers, once they’re trained as Community Champions, will undertake six events a year to directly engage with local communities to raise awareness of diabetes and to help those that have it already to better manage it. The Community Champions scheme is designed to educate communities and bridge the gap between clinical practice and the reality of living with diabetes,’ he added.

The student volunteers will be ready to go out and begin their community engagement work in about two week’s times.

Baldeep Kaur, a final year student in health studies believes it will be good experience for the future. ‘With the course I study at DMU I want to go and work in public health and raise awareness of certain health issues. This will give me really good experience in working with the community and good health promotion as well as being able to give advice on healthy lifestyle choices to those people who are most vulnerable,’ explained Kaur.

Neha Rana, who studies pharmacy said she was aware of how prevalent diabetes is through her studies. ‘I believe it’s important for people to be aware of it and how to prevent its onset. Being a Community Champion will provide with some great experience in learning how best to communicate with people day in, day out, which I’ll be doing daily as a pharmacist,’ she added.

Natasha Ryan, a first year student in accounting and business management, said that she does not know much about diabetes but has a few family members who have it. ‘It is important from a personal point of view to be able to raise awareness. I thought it would also be good to get a bit more involved in the local community,’ she added.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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