Exmouth’s Sarah can see ‘bigger picture’ thanks to diabetes prevention programme

Facilitator Charlotte delivering a session

Facilitator Charlotte delivering a session - Credit: Westbank

A programme which helps those  who are at high risk of getting type two diabetes make small changes in their everyday habits has allowed an Exmouth woman to see the ‘bigger picture’. 

Westbank Community Health and Care’s Healthier Devon Diabetes Prevention Programme supports adults aged 18-90 who want to improve their overall health and fitness. 

Sarah, from Exmouth, whose blood sugar levels have fallen as a result of being part of the project, said she has become ‘more in tune’ with her body and found sessions on stress ‘very interesting’ and had applied techniques she learned to lower her heart rate. 

Since joining the programme, Sarah has become more active and now enjoys walking every day and has started swimming. 

She said: “I’m getting closer to my happiness. I’m getting very strong feelings of contentment now I feel in control of my well-being.” 

Nearly 4 million people in the UK have Type 2 Diabetes, where the insulin your pancreas produces can’t work properly, or your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin.

This means your blood glucose (sugar) levels keep rising. Without treatment, these high sugar levels can lead to serious complications, including damage to the eyes, heart and feet.  

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Lead wellbeing facilitator Stuart Lord said: “We offer a behaviour change process that works.  

“Everyone is different and our approach with each person is different. Modern living, ageing and also misconceptions about what’s healthy can lead to being at risk, even if people are not overweight.  

“We offer advice and support to encourage people to review habits, eat more healthily, increase their physical activity generally and address mental health issues like stress and anxiety. It’s finding what works for them.  

“Small changes can make a huge difference to people’s health and happiness and, ultimately, stop them getting Type 2 Diabetes and all that entails.” 

Healthier Devon is commissioned by Devon County Council and is run alongside a national programme, commissioned by the NHS.  

Devon residents who want to reduce their risk of getting diabetes can self-refer and have until the end of June to register for the Devon programme. 

Ring 03033 000181 for more information or email westbank.healthierdevon1@nhs.net