East Ham students learn how exercise can help avoid diabetes

Plashet schoolgirls Viktorija Budryte,left, and Zainab Khankhara learn some healthy exercises with v

Plashet schoolgirls Viktorija Budryte,left, and Zainab Khankhara learn some healthy exercises with volunteer Kate Wilks, centre, from the Diabetes Awareness programme. - Credit: Archant

Students at a secondary school learnt how exercise can prevent diabetes as part of a project to raise awareness about the condition.

The Young Lifesavers Project has been run by charity Community Links at Plashet School in East Ham to teach Year 8 girls about the signs and symptoms of diabetes.

The girls have been piloting a range of activities focusing on how to prevent Type 2 diabetes by eating a low fat, low sugar diet and by taking regular exercise.

Frances Clarke from Community Links said: “We have already looked at the sugar content of fizzy drinks and of breakfast cereals which are often very high.

“This week the lesson focused on physical exercise so we ran a class which introduced the pupils to a range of different stretches and exercises that anyone can do and which they can continue at home. We want to develop the girls’ understanding of the importance of physical exercise in keeping healthy and we wanted to motivate everyone, even those without an interest in sport. We also gave the girls a step counter each to take home, as another way for them to monitor how much exercise they are getting and to set targets to increase how far they walk.”

The idea of the Young Lifesavers’ Programme is that the pupils share the information with others in their community. They began this process by presenting to an assembly of all 270 year eight pupils. The girls will now go onto share this information with family and friends and have committed to joining forces with their mums to contribute to a Plashet School Healthy Recipe Book.

Ex-pupils of the school joined the Community Links team to deliver this programme.

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The pilot has been so successful that Community Links will now be running the diabetes awareness programme in other years at Plashet School and in other secondary schools in the borough.

For more information contact frances.clarke@community-links.org