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In October 2001, The Huddersfield African Caribbean, Healthy Living Group held a Health Fair at the HUDAWI Centre. In the workshop on diabetes, it was identified that there was a need for support for people with diabetes in the community. Subsequent meetings saw increasing numbers attending and it was decided that a group should be established.

The name ‘Honeyzz’ came out of a members’ brainstorming session.

The group identified that there was a need to look more closely at the African Caribbean diet and exercise.

Over the years, Honeyzz has grown to having 90 members on its mailing list. Its name and reputation is well known and has representation at strategic level.

The group gained support from the Local PCT through the secondment of a Link worker. During that period, a representative of the group joined the Diabetic Nurse Specialist team and gave advice and support to diabetics in their own home. This partnership was successful and lasted for 3 years.

Honeyzz also took part in the piloting of the Expert Patient Programme and one person went on to train and became a facilitator.

Restructuring in the light of changing circumstances!

In the earlier days, and through the professional support of Dorothy Clayton, Honeyzz represented a wide cross section of the community, describing itself as “an all-embracing, multicultural group, serving the diabetes community of Huddersfield, regardless of age, race, ethnicity or gender”.

More recently, and especially with the growth of new and culturally specific groups, Honeyzz has reviewed its strategic aim to “improve the health, education and management of diabetes in the African Caribbean and emerging communities by developing a range of opportunities for social and health promoting activities”.

We have moved from a project largely driven by professionals identifying what we need, to become an autonomous, self-directed group determining what we want.