Seeking to improve diabetes awareness in the South Asian community (where the condition is particularly prevalent), Touchstone joined in partnership with Leeds Community Health NHS Trust to deliver Sadee Smile – an 8 week course to help people understand and manage the condition.
11 courses were run in a variety of venues around Leeds, by staff who were able to communicate with participants in their native languages.
When the course was evaluated by staff from Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for Health Promotion Research, their key findings were:

  • Knowledge and understanding of diabetes improved – by the end of the course virtually everyone understood that diabetes is for life, that it is not just a UK problem, and is more prevalent in the South Asian population. Plus they gained a basic understanding of how diabetes affected their bodies.
  • Participants learnt not only that an appropriate and healthy diet is key to managing diabetes successfully, but what this meant in practical terms for them. Many reported making changes to their diet, particularly in relation to portion size and reducing sugar intake.
  • Many participants increased their level of physical activity including walking, yoga, swimming, aerobics and gardening.
  • Some people went back to their GP to ask for the health checks they were entitled to, and at least one changed his GP.
  • People’s confidence to self-manage their condition improved.
  • Information about local support services was provided but little evidence was available as to whether participants accessed any other services.

One participant stated:

“We have learnt a lot about diabetes. About how we can control our sugar cravings and how the pancreas produces
less insulin in diabetes. If we will eat less sugary foods, we can be healthier. Diabetes is very common in our community.
We should always keep an eye on our sugar levels, eat healthy, eat more salads and eat a piece of fruit if we are having
a sugar craving.”

To read more about the course, including case studies, student feedback and the full evaluation findings, download the report below.
Sadee Smile Evaluation Full Report