Joined the programme in 2018

A culturally diverse city in the heart of England, Leicester is home to 350,000 people who together speak more than 70 different languages and dialects. The overarching mission of the Leicester Cities Changing Diabetes programme has been to educate and train communities to deliver type 2 diabetes prevention, support and lifestyle education. Cities Changing Diabetes Leicester was a joint working project funded by Novo Nordisk and developed in collaboration between Leicester Diabetes Centre and Novo Nordisk.

The recorded diabetes prevalence in Leicester is 9.6%, slightly higher than the national average of 7.1%.1 However, Cities Changing Diabetes research suggests that a significant number of people within Leicester are living with undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes. In addition, 60% of the adult population in the city is overweight or living with obesity.2


Research conducted during the initial phase of the Cities Changing Diabetes Leicester programme identified that the city’s large South Asian community and sedentary working-age adults were at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The research suggested that targeted interventions could help to address these risks.

Key facts and figures



of adults in Leicester are living with diabetes1



of the adult population in Leicester is overweight or obese2

Working alongside local communities has allowed Cities Changing Diabetes partners in Leicester to understand the community’s specific needs and create tailored interventions.


Empowering the community with healthy goals

The Cities Changing Diabetes partnership in Leicester has resulted in two key programmes so far: the Healthy Goals programme and the Empowering Communities programme. The Healthy Goals programme, which is delivered by Leicester City Football Club’s community charity, is tailored to meet the needs of those from the local South Asian community in particular. The programme offers participants the opportunity to engage in physical activity and to receive culturally-appropriate education and advice regarding healthy lifestyles.


The Empowering Communities programme has trained local champions to help raise awareness about type 2 diabetes within their communities. In addition to promoting healthy behaviours and sharing information about how the risks of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced, these champions also play a vital role in directing their peers to the appropriate health services.

"The Cities Changing Diabetes initiative has brought many partners and stakeholders across Leicester together to tackle a common cause: to improve the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in the city. It has allowed partners to learn from one another and to make the best use of the different skills we have locally to tackle the challenge."

— Sophie Leonardi, Operational manager, Centre for Ethnic Health Research


Download the Leicester action case

Download the Leicester deep dive case

Visit the local Leicester Changing Diabetes website


Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. Public Health Profiles, Diabetes: QOF prevalence (17+) 2020/21.


Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. Obesity Profile. Public health data.