Former carer, Heather Hobson was invited to attend a diabetes awareness session led by her local surgery. As part of the session she had a blood test which showed she was at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

"When I heard I was at risk, I was frightened but wanted to get healthier for my husband's sake. He has Alzheimer's and I also help out with my grandchildren, one of whom has special needs," Heather explained.

The awareness session Heather attended led to her signing up to her local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDDP) in Thame.

The programme, delivered by health services provider Ingeus, aims to support those at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to reduce that risk, delay the onset, or even stop them getting diabetes altogether.

Heather took decisive steps to address her risk. In addition to starting Healthier You, she joined a weight loss class and started an exercise regime.

"The Heathier You sessions are really helpful. The group environment is supportive and encouraging and our educator, Jane is absolutely brilliant. A lot of us would have given up if it wasn't for her! She takes a common sense approach and provides practical solutions. I've learned a lot about different kinds of fats and recipe swaps. As I love baking it was a good reminder that pastry is fat. Now I use potato and filo pastry instead to make my favourite quiches.

"I'd say go along and try it. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, so doing a course like this shakes things up. It's certainly encouraged me to be healthier. I've lost over two stones in weight and feel a lot fitter."

Ingeus educator, Jane Trenchard added: "The Healthier You programme is all about empowering individuals to make their own small lifestyle changes rather than a short term fix. Heather's 'can do' attitude and determination is clearly paying off. Her enthusiasm for the programme has shone through at every session and she has shown how effective these simple changes can be in reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and improving her long-term health."