World Diabetes Day - celebrating success

Date: 14 November 2019 to 30 December 2019

Diabetes graphic

This World Diabetes Day (14 November), West Oxfordshire District Council is celebrating the success of a programme set up to help people living with Type 2 diabetes to manage the condition through exercise.

Across the county, the GO Active Get Healthy programme is funded by Active Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and delivered in partnership by district councils, their leisure providers and local GP practices.

Now into its third year, the scheme has seen 390 West Oxfordshire residents attend an engagement event organised by West Oxfordshire District Council’s Healthy Communities team. Here they can try out an exercise class, find out more about managing diabetes and meet other people with the same condition.

They can then join the programme and take advantage of expert advice from qualified sports coaches and receive motivational, tailored support. Information about local activities such as subsidised swimming lessons and free use of leisure facilities is also made available.

Since taking part in the programme, Dick Tracey from Witney has lost weight and no longer takes insulin to manage his condition.

“I went to a taster session of seated exercise at my local GP practice in July this year.  I’d not done any kind of proper exercise for many years and was worried that I would make a fool of myself. But no-one was made to do anything they didn’t want to or couldn’t do,” said Dick, 63.

“The instructor highlighted that not only would the class be good for me physically but that it would also be fun and a great way to meet people. I signed up right away and have been a regular ever since!”

Dick now manages his condition through a combination of more exercise – he has bought a bicycle and cycles every day as well as attending the gym regularly – and other medication. He is hoping to reduce his BMI further by losing another stone and to be in a position to manage his diabetes without the need for drugs before his birthday in February.

He added: “While physically I feel much fitter and have more energy, I’m also enjoying knowing I’m in control of my diabetes rather than the diabetes controlling me.”

Jenny Bennett, Healthy Communities Officer at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Dick is a great example of how the GO Active Get Healthy programme can make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our population and proof that it is possible to manage type 2 diabetes.

“The council is delighted to be able to work with partners to deliver this support to our residents and help them find ways to make healthy choices.”

Dr Amar Latif, GP from Eynsham and clinical lead for diabetes at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Type 2 diabetes is largely caused by lifestyle factors that are reversible and preventable. This programme offers patients an excellent opportunity to learn about changes they can make to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

“The best way to manage type 2 Diabetes is to recognise your risk of developing the condition and take positive prevention steps.”

The National Diabetes Prevention Programme is running across Oxfordshire and more than 5,000 people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes have been referred.

The programme helps to educate people about diabetes, offers nutritional guidance and support, physical activity sessions and advice, and individual plans to continue progress.

Dr Latif said: “This programme really does help people make lifestyle changes to reduce the chance of developing diabetes but also improve their quality of life in general. For more information you can visit the Healthier You website or speak to your local GP.”

Dr Latif added: “Left untreated diabetes can have devastating life-changing complications. These include blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.  This World Diabetes Day, I’d encourage people to find out more about the condition, the warning signs and the best ways to reduce their risk of developing diabetes in the future.”

If you’re concerned about symptoms suffered by you or a friend or family member, contact your GP – early diagnosis and treatment are key.

  • Summary:

    Find out more about diabetes prevention in Oxfordshire 

  • Transformation:
  • Date:
    14 November 2019