Since becoming a Diabetes UK volunteer in 2014, I have been involved in various diabetes awareness and prevention activities such as roadshows, stalls and talks in schools, community centres and religious places across the London Region. My role as a volunteer nonetheless remain focused on helping my local BAME community by proactively engaging with them over various topics such as the understanding of diabetes, the role of food and physical activity in delaying its onset and the myths and misconception surrounding the condition.
The ultimate mission of a Champion, in my view, is to encourage our communities to change their potentially harmful behaviours and habits so to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and better self-manage their blood glucose level to avoid life-threatening complications.
I have decided to blog for Diabetes UK so to share my experiences and those of other champions on different aspects of our engagement and outreach work with BAME communities. I wanted to raise some of the grassroots voices that is not regularly reported back or are not so well known by Diabetes UK. My blogs would, in my view, be a way of linking Community Champions, BAME communities and Diabetes UK together so to facilitate the flow of information between them. They would mainly be around the initiative work being developed by Community Champions; the habits, the behaviours, the myths and the beliefs surrounding diabetes in different communities; the cultural traditions displayed at religious festivals and large gatherings and some of the successes achieved by our dedicated community champions.