What are the new tapes you have put together?
They are cassette tapes that provide information about type-two diabetes and how to manage it.
They are available in English, Hindi and Bengali. We are targeting the south Asian community, which suffers diabetes at a rate that is six times higher than that of the white community.
The cassettes are produced in the style of the popular British Asian comedy Goodness Gracious Me to make them more accessible. The main characters are Auntie Ji and her nephew, who has just discovered he is diabetic.
Why did you choose this medium?
We already produce factsheets on the subject, but when you have just found out you have diabetes, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with lots of information, especially when it is presented in a boring way. The tapes get the facts across in a much more entertaining way.
We are targeting a hard-to-reach section of the community, many of whom can't read, so we thought this was a good way to do it. We already produce DVDs, but we have found that among some of the older generation, there's a lack of understanding about how they work. The tapes came about after we consulted local community leaders.
Are the tapes free?
Yes. We have produced 1,000 and we will be advertising them through our newsletter, the ethnic media and through our links with community organisations.
We are also sending them to GPs and healthcare professionals. People will be allowed to keep the tapes so they can keep referring back to them - they are 12 minutes long, so they contain quite a lot of information.
It has worked out cheaper than advertising on radio and we have already had a lot of interest in them.