Pioneering project to help diabetes patients

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 August 2019

Town council senior administrator Trudy Hollow with Nancy Elliott, mentor, who is helping people learn to use key activity monitors at No. 65 Nailsea High Street.      Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Town council senior administrator Trudy Hollow with Nancy Elliott, mentor, who is helping people learn to use key activity monitors at No. 65 Nailsea High Street. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A health hub in Nailsea has set up a pioneering support group to help people diagnosed with diabetes.

Number 65 is helping people with the condition to improve their health, by providing them with activity monitors.

Studies have shown people with diabetes can improve their health by becoming more active and the activity trackers help people to monitor their progress.

Participants are assigned a mentor who meets with them fortnightly to talk through their data and discuss how they can improve their fitness.

The scheme has been rolled out to just 10 people so far, but project leaders are hoping to bring in more participants as it progresses.

Ian Morrell, development manager at Number 65, said: "We are doing a project here which, up until this point was something which was being offered by medical professionals.

"It's very much under the Number 65 ethos - about face-to-face support and not just giving people these monitors and sending them off and expecting them to do more stuff.

"It's about helping people who aren't terribly active to do more of what they are doing and changing some of their habits.

"What we've found is people are doing certain things already, but they could be doing more like going up and down the stairs instead of using the lift and walking to the shops instead of taking the car.

"By having a monitor people start thinking about decisions more."

Bosses at Number 65 High Street are also planning to contact GP surgeries in the area to see if it would be helpful for some of their patients.

Ian added: "We have committed to having 100 members of the project and we have started off with 10, so we will be looking to increase it.

"It's one of the first of its kind because it's run by volunteers.

"Generally projects are being run for 12 weeks and stop, but we aim to continue with the support if people want it."

People can put themselves forward for the scheme, or GPs can refer them.

Number 65 is also looking for mentors who can help people taking part in the scheme.

For more on the project, email ian@nailseatowncouncil.gov.uk

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