When 70-year-old Michael Hewson from Lewes in East Sussex attended a well man clinic at his local GP’s surgery, he soon discovered all was not well. Whilst he believed he was in reasonable shape, he discovered his blood sugar reading was high and that he was at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

After a chat with his doctor, Michael was offered the opportunity to sign up for the ten-month Healthier You: NHS Prevention Programme. He readily accepted as he was aware that having the disease could lead to a life-changing future.

“My confidence rose when I walked into a room of other people who, like me, had no obvious signs of being unhealthy. Immediately I felt comfortable that I had made the right decision to attend, and my knowledge of how to avoid diabetes continued to grow as the months rolled by.”

Michael’s greatest surprise was how simple lifestyle changes could make a big difference to his health. “I live on the outskirts of Lewes, and rather than hopping on the bus, I now enjoy the walk into town,” he said. “My wife and I have become more aware of the food we buy and what we really should avoid, and I’ve lost over a stone in weight. I feel to have so much energy now!”

Michael has also been told his blood sugar readings are now back to normal and that he’s no longer considered to be at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“My experience has been entirely positive from start to finish – in a week’s time I will have completed my course. The challenge now is to stick to my plan and remain healthy, but I’ve been given all the information I need to succeed and I’m determined to do just that.”

The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is delivered in East Sussex by Ingeus. Course educator Lucy Case said, “The programme is all about working with participants and encouraging them to make changes, just as Michael has done. Each time we meet we go through another part of becoming and remaining healthy through the food we eat and the lifestyle we adopt, and we talk about making permanent changes that will give us the opportunity to live longer and remain in good health. Michael has taken all this on-board and is a great example of how small changes can soon add up to a substantially improved lifestyle.”