Bameen’s diabetes project outlined the need for greater awareness of diabetes, especially type 2, among minority ethnic communities who were recognized by Diabetes UK as more likely to develop this type of diabetes than the indigenous population by a six fold factor. It was Bameen’s objective, with support from professional DIABETES UK facilitators, to bring communities together to explain the disease, identify lifestyle choices which could increase the likelihood of contracting the disease, and offer support to groups and individuals with their preventative activities. This last point, linking in with pre-existing activities around local food growing schemes, is still a current and an expanding programme for Bameen. Health walks were also suggested.
Specifically Bameen stated that they would
Reach: 60 participants.
Run workshops either singularly or preferably in partnership with other agencies with the main group benefiting being black, minority or ethnic groups. The main age group benefiting would be both males and females between the ages of 13 to 64 with the project due to last 5 months
Bameen stated that their success would be measured by the number of people attending the workshops and the ability to follow up with these participants in future lifestyle activities with support from other agencies.
In all, Bameen engaged with 176 people of BME origin, more than two times the target. The age range of this group was from between 18 to 70, some 5years older than our original target of starting with 13 year olds but also 5 years older than our original target of 65 at the senior end. Some consideration then for future activities is how to involve the younger members of the community. Participants came predominately from postcodes HU5, HU6, HU3 which are postcodes where you have the highest concentration of BMEs in Hull. In gender terms about 64% of participants were male and females 36%. For e.g. a particular event at a mosque was one of our success stories in terms of attendance and information sharing. The down side is it was only a male dominated event because women weren’t allow there. The difficulties in arranging female only events explain this imbalance although Bameen believes that even these figures show a break through if measured against other activities the group has undertaken. Bameen however recognize there is still a lot of work to do on gender participation issues.
We have evidence through our regular meetings with communities that there is an increasing trend of health related issues like high blood pressure, stroke, overweight, heart attack, blurred vision etc that are closely linked to diabetes. This health related issues, in particular, among BMEs were seen to be high priority and where significant work is requiring addressing it. More so, we have also realized that accessing women and children hasn’t been easy.
Networking within the BME community has gone quite well. The idea had develop a lot of interest within some BME communities and we ve been urged to repeat or hold separate event if the time and resources permits. We can confirm the project was a huge success. We encouraged participants to changes in attitudes and behaviour, lifestyle and therefore reduce the risk factors of developing these diabetis conditions. Among the numbers of people attending the sessions. Some said the event was very important as it helped people like herself to get some vital information on diabetes.
We are taking a step further by working with participants to take part in growing their own food (Growing diversity for Hull) )- a project funded by the Big Lottery that has been running alongside NHS project for 5 months project alongside our recently European union funded project(urban agriculture) will help Bameen to sustain the NHS Diabetis awareness activities and healthy eating.