Surrey Heath MP, Michael Gove, joined high profile parliamentarians, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government,   and the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, the Shadow Foreign Secretary at the Annual Diabetes Charity event, the Silver Star Diabetes Health Challenge, at the House of Commons.

As part of Diwali at Westminster, Michael Gove MP took the quick and easy diabetes test to help raise awareness of the need for public to take the test of the condition. Special guest Hugh Quarshie who plays Dr. Ric Griffin in BBC’s Holby City, joined in the efforts to highlight the problem of diabetes, and handed Michael Gove MP a pedometer. 

As part of the challenge, MPs were issued with a Silver Star Diabetes Pedometer that will measure the amount of steps taken on a chosen day until World Diabetes Day on 14th November 2014 to see who can take the most steps.

Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is the current holder of the health Challenge. 

Every four minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with diabetes and consequently, the NHS spends £1 million an hour on diabetes and its related complications. Currently 3.2 million people in the UK people live with the condition, and an estimated 1 million people may have diabetes without knowing it.

Silver Star Diabetes is a national charity which seeks to raise awareness of diabetes through advocacy and delivering free diabetes testing and lifestyle advice to the general public. The Charity runs Mobile Diabetes Units (MDU's). The MDUs travel out into the community, to places of work, worship, community events, High Street and retail parks testing the public for free for diabetes and offering lifestyle advice. During these visits its staff has discovered thousands of people who have a propensity for diabetes who did not know about it. The event was supported by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Icare

Dr Modhwadia, Chairman of the Trustees for Silver Star Diabetes said:

“I am delighted that so many MPs have decided to take the test and have taken the pedometer challenge to raise awareness of this largely unseen health condition. Silver Star Diabetes has tested over 42,000 people for diabetes and continues to reach out to communities to raise awareness for the condition. Being tested is important to ensure that the condition is spotted early and people can get the right treatment as soon as possible.”

Michael Gove MP said:

“Many people in Surrey Heath are suffering from diabetes, so it is great that Silver Star Diabetes take action to raise awareness of the condition. Helping people to lead healthy lifestyles is important, and testing people for diabetes plays a vital step towards achieving that."

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes at NHS England said

“Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges we face today in the UK. There are 3.2 million people living with diabetes, the majority of whom have Type 2 diabetes, the onset of which can be prevented or delayed by a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, and I applaud Silver Star’s efforts to provide practical support and information to so many MPs who have decided to take the test and take the pedometer challenge to raise awareness of this health condition."