A Leeds woman’s determination to stay clear of Type 2 diabetes has led to her signing up for a new health initiative in the city.

Moira Garland, 68, has been identified as being at risk of diabetes and so she has taken her GP’s advice to attend the ground-breaking Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which has been established to help people adopt healthier lifestyles and remain diabetes-free. The programme is delivered in the city by the NHS, Leeds City Council’s Public Health team, and Ingeus, a leading provider of health, employment, training and skills services.

Moira has recognised she is not as active as she could be, and is determined to make the necessary changes to her lifestyle to take more exercise and adjust some parts of her diet. Over 10 months, the diabetes prevention programme aims to support and educate people and help them understand and respond to the danger signs such as a sedentary lifestyle and eating some of the wrong foods.

“I’m part of a group of people which meets regularly with Tasha from Ingeus, who leads our course,” said Moira. “Although it’s early days, already we have learnt what the risks are and what we should do to try avoid diabetes. I have no wish to become diabetic and recognise that, whilst I must make changes, everything I am shown and taught is for my own benefit. That’s my main motivation.”

Currently 40,750 people in Leeds have Type 2 diabetes and 64,377 people are thought to be at high risk of getting the disease but do not know about it. At the moment, 44,927 people have been identified as being high risk and, with that figure in danger of increasing, the NHS programme is about taking preventative action before it’s too late.

“All in all, none of the individual dietary and lifestyle adjustments that have been suggested will mean massive changes to me, personally, but together I am hopeful they will help me remain free from diabetes,” added Moira. “By taking the advice and becoming a little more active, I can stave off the risk and remain healthier.”

“All our participants have shown that they are willing to adapt their approaches to eating and exercise, and so our hope is that each one of them will stay free from diabetes,” added Tasha Youngman. “It’s so encouraging that the members of our group really want to remain as healthy as they possibly can, and they have readily made the first move towards a brighter future.”