We're painting the city purple for diabetes day

It’s not uncommon to paint the town red. But how about painting the city purple?

That’s exactly what a team of Bradford GPs will be doing in a bid to raise awareness about diabetes.

Next Wednesday, 26 March, Bradford’s City Hall and the fountains in City Park will turn purple, in honour of the innovative Bradford Beating Diabetes (BBD) campaign. Purple is the campaign’s official colour.

The event gets underway with the floodlighting of the fountains at 11am and from 11.30am until 1.30pm, the BBD clinical team will be handing out leaflets and talking to members of the public about recognising the warning signs of the disease.

Visitors will also be able to tuck into delicious healthy snacks, cooked up on the specially-converted HALE MOV (mobile outreach venue) bus and learn about how a healthy diet, including fruit and vegetables, can help prevent and control diabetes.

They will also be able to try their hand at making music in a special drumming display, co-ordinated by community performance arts group, Kala Sangam.

City Hall’s big screen will also display a series of messages about the BBD campaign, spotting diabetes and where to get help.

But behind the fun event is a serious message: There are over 7,500 diabetic patients in the City area with an additional 5,700 people at moderate or high risk of developing the most common type of diabetes, Type II.

The aim of the BBD campaign, launched in November 2013, on World Diabetes Day by Bradford City NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is to raise awareness of the disease and to prevent people from developing it.

It will also support those who are currently being treated for diabetes, ensuring they receive the correct health care in order to manage their symptoms and prevent any related, serious conditions from developing.

In the first phase, the campaign has already identified people in the city who are at risk and letters have been sent to them, inviting them to see their GP for a simple blood test. As a result, many people at high risk of developing diabetes have now been enrolled on Intensive Lifestyle Change Programme (ILCP) sessions.

These sessions are run by specially-trained BBD Champions - a mix of volunteers, practice staff, health trainers and people who have all previously worked as health champions. They are now committed to making sure people receive the right advice and support. The BBD Champions will also be present on Purple Day.

Dr Adeel Iqbal, GP lead for long-term conditions at Bradford City CCG said:
“We hope as many people as possible come along to support us at City Park because we want to prevent as many City patients as we can from developing diabetes, as well as providing excellent care and advice to those who have the condition.

“Attending our Purple Day really could make a difference to their future health.”

HALE dietitian, Tahira Amin said:
“We’re delighted to support Bradford City CCG with their Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign and we hope that plenty of people will come along, have a chat, and take this opportunity to gain practical knowledge of how to prevent and manage diabetes through a healthy balanced diet.”

Notes to editors:

  • The Painting the City Purple event is being supported by Diabetes UK

  •  Diabetes reduces life expectancy by 10 years and is the commonest cause in the UK of blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic lower limb amputation.

  •  HALE (Health Action Local Engagement) is a healthy living project set up in 2003 which became an independent charity in 2008.

  •  The BBD campaign is set to run until at least March 2015