As part of the Cities Changing Diabetes programme we visited Houston to learn more about the Faith and Diabetes Programme that is being implemented there as part of Cities Changing Diabetes and to see it in action. We were privileged to spend time with graduates of the January 2018 programme and observe ladies at Houston’s Blue Mosque delivering and participating in the programme. We also visited a Baptist Church to meet with graduates there, to learn more about their motivation for participating and their experiences and learning from delivering the programme in their community.
During the day we observed the training in action we took the opportunity to share with the delegates some of the work we are doing in Leicester and plans for our own ‘devotion to health’ education programme. The delegates were very supportive of our plans and we are excited to have been able to include our learning and use our experience of visiting the work in Houston in the development of our funding applications to progress this work.
Working jointly with Leicester Changing Diabetes and the Leicester City Football Club and the Leicester County Cricket Club realised that their programmes were not attended by Leicester’s BME population and they approached us to help them reach these populations.
There were a number of barriers identified for engagement. Including location, perception of sports clubs and who they work with, understanding of physical activity and what that involves and peer support. The key to engaging the communities in sport clubs activities and initiatives was a personal touch with a trusted connection. The community support officer acted as the conduit between the clubs and communities to develop and implement programmes targeted for south Asian participants.