WEA is rightly proud of our many community education based health projects; they have enabled thousands of adults to improve their health, fitness and life chances and been recognised by Ofsted as ‘outstanding.'
The recent report from Diabetes UK that NHS spending on diabetes is likely 'to reach £16.9 billion by 2035' has created shock waves in the media. Published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, the peer reviewed report anticipates that within 25 years the NHS could be spending 17% of its entire budget on the condition. The report goes on to say that investing in checks and services that help people manage the condition would reduce the risk of complications and be more cost effective.
The WEA has been working with the NHS to improve health outcomes in some of our poorest communities for many years, by embedding preventative services into an informal Community Education approach. Evidence based reports show that these research led methods, using needs analysis and dialogue with people, rather than top down models, can potentially save money. For example, an external evaluation of the WEA’s on-going CHEST project in Stoke on Trent says participants ‘had consistently high levels of achievement in both learning and health outcomes. Approximately, 77% of learners showed at least one health improvement whilst taking part in a CHEST course, such as weight loss, lowered blood pressure or waist circumference,’ measures specifically linked to the development and control of Type II diabetes. The project has produced a video of some WEA students getting fit and active and discussing the impact it has had on their health and well-being.
For more information about WEA health education contact Iram Naz, Research and Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org