Houston faith trip was ‘hugely insightful’

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Members of the Leicester Changing Diabetes have been sharing all they learnt from a recent trip in Houston, where the Cities Changing Diabetes (CCD) programme was first launched.

Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and obesity is the most common chronic condition there, affecting 32 per cent of adults.Obese men and women in the American city have a seven-fold and 12-fold risk, respectively, of developing type 2 diabetes. 

CCD has been working with stakeholders in Houston since 2014 and together they discovered that faith was a great way to promote awareness of diabetes, which is also a key area of focus for the Leicester team. 

Since then a Faith and Diabetes initiative has been launched in an effort to engage leaders within faith communities around diabetes awareness, prevention, and treatment. As Leicester is home to a large multicultural society, it was thought that Leicester Changing Diabetes could learn a lot from the Houston team. 

Sophie O’Connell, who went to Houston in September, said: “The trip was hugely insightful and was a great opportunity to see how their Faith Educators engage with their congregations.  

“The Faith and Diabetes Initiative helps to empower lay leaders in diverse communities of faith to address pressing health issues, with a special focus on diabetes. There are many different faith groups within Leicester and we have many evidence-based education programmes which have designed and developed for a range of different audiences.  

“Educating faith leaders to deliver diabetes prevention education to their congregation is seen as a practical and sustainable method of education and therefore a key priority to the Leicester CCD team. The Leicester and Houston teams have formed a close bond and will continue to work closely with each other with the Houston team being invited to Leicester to observe the work done as part of Leicester Changing Diabetes.”

 

Fiona Bailey