Sharon’s story

Sharon HatherSharon Hather, from Sneinton, Nottingham, says that the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) has changed her life. The 46-year-old had actually been to see her GP with an ear infection – but found out she was at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Sharon’s GP referred her onto the NHS DPP immediately and she started the first core session within a week. She started to feel the benefits of attending the programme very quickly

She said: “I lost a stone within two months by starting the ‘Couch to 5k’ plan and, while I did struggle at first, I’ve continued to make progress. Now I can run for 30 minutes, whereas before I couldn’t even run for one minute!”

Sharon hasn’t made drastic changes to her diet, but learning more about food has helped her a great deal, she says.

“I enjoyed the task where we had to look at portion size through visual aids, and knowing more about different fats in terms of what’s good and bad has helped me reduce the amount of saturated fat in my diet,” Sharon explained.

“I have also increased the amount of brown food in my diet as a substitute for white and I am generally eating a lot less and have more control over portion sizes”.

Sharon added: “When I think about getting Type 2 diabetes, it makes me want to do something about it. I feel better psychologically since being on the programme and I am determined not to get Type 2 diabetes.”

Sharon has now completed her core sessions as well as attending two maintenance sessions, and she is full of praise for her the Healthier You educators. She said: “They have good engagement with the participants, are open to questions being asked and they make the sessions very interactive.”

Sharon would recommend the programme to family and friends because of the impact it has had on her own life. She said: “It has changed my life! I like how the sessions focus also on the science of diabetes and if I had one message for the NHS it would be to carry on running the programme.”