Caring for the Western Sydney Community 30 March 2022 Healthy Living Toongabbie, is a group of health-conscious business owners, health professionals and community leaders, who have united with the common goal of improving the health of the Western Sydney community. The impact of diabetes Western Sydney is a hotspot for diabetes. More than 6% of the population in the area are currently living with the condition which is above the national average. One in four Australians over the age of 25 is living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. This means the people you see every day could be living with diabetes. It could be the neighbour you say hello to on your daily walk, the local barista you buy your coffee from, or your friends or family members. When it comes to looking after our own health, the health of our family and community, it is something we can all do together. About Health Living Toongabbie Healthy Living Toongabbie meet regularly to plan tailored health awareness activities. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Healthy Living Toongabbie were at the local shopping centre each month handing out factsheets and other helpful information. They raised awareness of and started conversations about diabetes with local residents in this familiar and comfortable location. The pandemic didn’t slow the group’s motivation and they quickly moved to video meetings to replace face-to-face sessions. Healthy Living Toongabbie have since organised a number of online forums, covering topics such as diabetes and pregnancy, and how to manage diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. These online events can be viewed via the Healthy Living Toongabbie Facebook Page. How Diabetes NSW & ACT provides support Diabetes NSW & ACT is an active member of Healthy Living Toongabbie, providing support in the form of diabetes information and factsheets, attending community events and education sessions, supporting webinars and being available to answer questions over the phone. Building programs for the diverse local community Toongabbie is rich in diversity and culture, with more than 50% of the community speaking a language other than English. Members of Healthy Living Toongabbie identified the need for in-language information to support pregnant women. To help fill the gap a series of videos in Tamil were created to support soon-to-be mums, women thinking about having a baby and support networks. These videos can be found here. Supporting the health of the community Healthy Living Toongabbie is a great example of communities supporting one another. It only takes a few proactive community leaders to come together to start spreading messages about good health and wellbeing to get people started on the road to better health. Where to find out more For more information about the work Healthy Living Toongabbie have been doing watch this video: Communities in the local Western Sydney region interested in forming a similar group are welcome to contact [email protected]. If you’re looking for more information or support for your diabetes management please call us on 1800 177 055. Diabetes NSW & ACT is here to help and support you.