Project RiseHealthFaith communities in Leicester turn out in force for Victoria Park diabetes awareness walk

Faith communities in Leicester turn out in force for Victoria Park diabetes awareness walk

Fun Facts

i) The Leicester Walk for Diabetes:

ii) Took 6 weeks preparing,

iii) Reached out to the whole of the Leicester community. All faiths, major institutions – city council, University of Leicester, De Montfort University, Police, Fire Services, local MPs, Lord Mayor, Bishop of Leicester and others – helped promote and organise the walk,

iv) The Dawoodi Bohra community from the whole of the U.K. participated in fundraising and attending in large numbers on the day,

v) The Saifee Burhani Medical Association were the single largest sponsor,

vi) Local businesses helped by sponsoring and donating fruit, water for the event,

vii) It is estimated that over 1,000 people attended and participated on the day,

viii) Raised over £30,000- final total still pending as donations still coming in,

ix) Funds will be donated to three charities:

1. The Diabetes Village at the Leicester Diabetes Center

2. Diabetes U.K.

3. Silver Star

News Coverage Leicester Mercury

Dave Owen

Walkers from across the city and county turned out it force for a diabetes awareness event organised by one of Leicester’s faith groups.

Health campaigners and supporters joined members of the Dawoodi Bohra Community for a diabetes awareness walk in Victoria Park on Sunday.

The group is aiming to raise £25,000 towards research and has also been working with the University of Leicester, Silver Star diabetes charity, Diabetes UK, the Leicester Diabetes Centre and the Diabetes Village.

Dr Murtaza Salem, honorary lecturer in cardiovascular sciences at the university and vascular surgery specialist registrar at Leicester’s Hospitals, as well as a member of the Dawoodi community, helped organise the event, which has already raised nearly £15,000.

He said: “Our community in Leicester is small but we are keen to make a difference to the country and community we live in.

“This is one of our many projects to increase awareness about diabetes.”

The diabetes walk was a multi-faith, cross-community event for everyone from Leicester and further afield and saw a large turnout on the day.

Walkers were given the choice of a 1km, 5km or long ‘whacky walk’, with medical professionals on hand to give free diabetes checks.

The event was also supported by city mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole and Keith Vaz MP.

The Dawoodi Bohras are Shia Muslims, with most followers living in the western cities of India, as well as Pakistan, Yemen and East Africa. A spokesman for the Leicester community said: “There has also been widespread support from different faith communities – including Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and Jewish communities – all of whom have supported the event. “De Montfort University have also shown their support and were in attendance to showcase their own research in diabetes.

“In this way the whole community has come together in support of this event.”

The Diabetes awareness walk is an initiative that is part of the Dawoodi Bohra community’s worldwide health and well-being drive.

Dr Salem said: “His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin has placed great emphasis on good health and regular exercise.

“This year His Holiness has asked the community to focus on diabetes awareness.”

The Dawoodi Bohra community have already carried out awareness activities throughout the world.

Organisers said the walk was also staged to encourage more people to get themselves tested for diabetes, along with promoting healthy diet and lifestyle to reduce the risk.

The community is currently building a purpose-built mosque off Loughborough Road, in Belgrave.

Professor Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine and co-director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “The diversity of Leicester is something we celebrate and embrace.

“It is because of this that our multi-cultural city has become the first UK to become part of a global campaign to improve the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.”

“We are passionate about improving the health of our community and promoting physical activity and walking is a really important and practical initiative for all of our communities.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the university, said: “The importance of delivering culturally-sensitive health care is well recognised, which is why collaborated events like this which target different communities is so important.

“It’s estimated that south Asians are two to three times likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than Europeans, and with Leicester being such an ethnically and culturally diverse city it’s crucial we lead the way in educating those who are at great risk of developing the condition.”

He added: “Only 50 per cent of the city’s 340,000-population identify themselves as being of white ethnicity, compared with an average of 87 per cent across the rest of the UK.

“With the high numbers speaking for themselves, we hope this event will help attract the right people, showing them it’s not too late to introduce small changes to their lives, which could make a big difference to their health.”

ITV Central News

A number of people walked through the Victoria Park in Leicester today to raise awareness to the risk of diabetes among black and Asian communities.

The walk was led by the members of the Dawoodi Bohra Community.

They raised more than £30,000 working in association with the University of Leicester as well as a number of diabetes centres.

Doctors from the city’s hospitals joined the walk today as well. There were free diabetes checks offered at the park.

It is estimated that south Asians are two to three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than Europeans.