"I was pleased to find that the sessions would be run close to where I live and that I could take a friend along. I would definitely recommend others at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to join their local Healthier You programme.”
Baldev found out that she was at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through a routine Health Check at her GP surgery. She has a strong history of diabetes in the family and was advised that she needed to be more careful about her diet and exercise choices. She was referred to the NHSDPP, delivered in her area – Sandwell – by Living Well Taking Control (LWTC).
Her invitation letter from LWTC arrived, as promised, and she was happy to join the programme. “I was pleased to find that the sessions would be run close to where I live and that I could take a friend along,” she says. “If you have made a commitment to a friend to go, it encourages you to stick with it. She is a good friend and, although she is not at risk herself, it felt good to share what I was going through with her.”
Baldev attended NHSDPP sessions at West Bromwich Fire Station, which were run by LWTC facilitator Sharon Small. She found them informative and enjoyable. “Sharon was very good,” she says, “explaining one thing at a time. I am actually a retired nurse, so what she was telling us I did already know – I just hadn’t put it into practice for myself! It was all very nicely done – not overpowering but professional. The sessions focused mostly on food changes and exercise. It made me more determined to stick to healthy options because I knew I was going to be weighed and measured each week.”
One thing that surprised Baldev was how much sugar there is in fruit. “I love fruit,” she says, “but I realise now that I have to restrict how much of it I eat. I have also switched to semi skimmed milk and a spread that is good for lowering cholesterol.”
Baldev started walking with her friend in a local park. She has also joined a local gym to ensure she can maintain her levels of exercise when the weather is bad.
“Our group was a happy one,” she says, “with 7 or 8 really nice people. We attended for seven weeks after our initial assessment and none of us missed a week, which shows how satisfied we all were with the sessions. “I would definitely recommend others at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to join their local NHSDPP programme.”