Sessions provide advice and support to help people self-manage diabetes

Image: Michael, a participant in the Healthy Living Programme for type 2 diabetes

Published: 26 January 2023

Group sessions providing information and advice for people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are proving very popular with participants.

Run as the healthy living programme, the group information sessions help to support people with the self-management of their diabetes.

Those who take part can expect to further their understanding and receive information and advice on a range of treatment and care topics, giving them the confidence to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Michael attended the course following a recommendation by his GP, and said: “Every week it was clear what the focus was to be and what we were going to know, be able to do and understand. The way it was presented by the individual presenters was remarkably consistent. No preaching, no judgement, no messages of blame.

“I learned a huge amount, not only about the disease but about how to manage it much more effectively. For the first time ever, food labelling made sense for example. I really liked the clarity of information given and the endless patience of presenters to explain.

“Meeting weekly changed how I viewed diabetes and my cardiac challenges. I saw a way to live that meant I could make choices that would make a big difference for the better.”

Sarah Henwood, Health Improvement Practitioner at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said “We understand that people can often feel overwhelmed or unsure when diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The aim of the course is to provide information and support to people that is easy to digest, in a safe, comfortable environment.

“We are delighted to have had such positive feedback from the participants, and it’s fantastic to hear stories such as Michael’s, which highlight the benefits of the course and how this has supported their self-management.”

Michael’s adds: “I lost the feeling of dragging this huge worry around with me about my heart, diabetes and that it was all my fault for being stupid.

“I changed from feeling I was going downstream in a rowing boat without oars, waiting for the rapids or a waterfall to appear around the corner, to getting the map out, realising there were oars and enough supplies for years. It changed my outlook, sense of worth and the realisation of how powerful I could be in looking after myself.

“I feel much better, as well as getting my weight more under control and lowering my Hb1AC readings. I didn’t expect this but the course lifted my eyes to see it. For me it’s the biggest benefit.”

To find out more about the programme, visit the Torbay Healthy Lifestyles website pages on