A community group in Birmingham has helped to improve education and awareness around diabetes and healthy eating, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Saltley Community Association was awarded £20,000 last year by Postcode Community Trust for a year-long project called Healthy Eating and Living.

The Birmingham-based charity is located in an area with a high prevalence of heart disease and diabetes – the fastest growing percentage of people with diabetes in the UK. Having worked with the local community for over 30 years, Saltley Community Association applied to Postcode Community Trust for funding as they felt there wasn't the necessary advice and motivation to promote positive lifestyle changes.

Safdar Mir, the project's coordinator, explained the project: "We're taking them through which foods are healthy and which aren't, and what diabetes is so they get a little understanding – because people don't understand diabetes. Then they can make those lifestyle decisions."

Over the past year since funding was received, over 350 people have engaged with the project by attending workshops, and joining the walking and cycling groups.

Zafar Ali, a diabetes sufferer who joined the group, said, "I feel more motivated now – I know that if I do more exercise and eat better, I'll have more energy and be more with it. My diabetes is being managed better than before just by making these small changes."

With the project coming to an end, the group members are continuing to hold the walking and cycling groups and share ideas about cooking more healthily.

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Saltley Community Association has used funding to start a group to educate the local community about healthier lifestyle choices