On the frontline of diabetes research

Sheffield Leisure Centres join new scheme

Graves Health and Sports Centre will be taking part in a groundbreaking new Diabetes and Peripheral Neuropathy study by Sheffield Teaching Hospital, Community Wellness Services and the NHS Foundation Trust set to enhance diabetes care within Sheffield.

There are over 37,500 people living with diabetes in Sheffield alone, which is a condition that can lead to serious complications if not managed well, such as sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

At Graves Health and Sports Centre community healthcare sits alongside community leisure and sport. The £16M centre, managed by Places Leisure was purpose built by Sheffield City Council and is home to onsite clinical facilities and health professionals, including Community Wellness Services and the NCSEM (National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine) who will also be supporting the programme.

Over 150 classes will be delivered over the course of the year at Graves Health and Sports Centre and Thorncliffe Leisure Centre, with around 80 participants taking part to combat the condition and improve their cardiovascular health by ‘moving more’. David Birds, Managing Director at Community Wellness Services Group explains more, “As part of the specialist programme participants will receive bespoke one to one personal training from a Level 4 endocrine professional against agreed measures by the Department of Health, who set recommendations of what people with the condition should be achieving to improve mood and reduce blood pressure and glucose levels.

“We know that people with diabetes are more at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It’s therefore extremely important to maintain a healthy heart to improve circulation and reduce associated complications, so we are excited to be delivering this Study within these accessible and nonclinical venues.”

Michael Dulku, Contract Manager for Places Leisure comments, "This is the first trial of the specialist intervention and the first of its kind within a leisure centre environment so we are delighted to be partnering together to offer this programme to our community in Sheffield. With success we hope to support the roll out of it further with our partners so that more people in Sheffield and nationally can benefit from it and we can a real positive difference to the health of our communities; working hand in hand with Sheffield City Council and our health partners in a way in which has never been seen before in the UK.”

“We are excited to be involved in this truly groundbreaking project.” adds Jonny Pickering, Head of Healthy Communities at Places Leisure. “Diabetes is a condition that affects a large proportion of our communities, and physical activity can be used to manage the condition very effectively. Places Leisure are committed to working in partnership with the wider health sector to combat the nation’s most stubborn health conditions. We look forward to seeing the impact of this project and potentially expanding it once results show positive impact on our communities.”

Councillor Richard Williams, Chair of the Communities, Parks and Leisure Committee at Sheffield City Council commented, “At Graves Health and Sports Centre, health interventions go hand in hand with mainstream sport and physical activity, giving us a unique opportunity to explore with our expert partners the real impact that can be achieved through small adjustments and a more active lifestyle. We are delighted to be able to support this fantastic research which we hope will benefit many within our community who are living with diabetes.”