THOUSANDS of local people have diabetes and don't even know it, according to health experts.

Diabetes UK believe that as many as 2,500 people are undiagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Barnsley and so they have brought a roadshow in the town centre offering free diabetes checks.

It will be on Cheapside between 9am and 5pm today (Wednesday) and tomorrow to help people find out more about the disease and discover if they are at risk.

Staff aim to raise awareness of the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, which include being overweight, having a large waist, being over 40 or over 25 in Black and South Asian people, or having a close relative with the disease.

Linda Wood, from the charity, said: "The message to the people of Barnsley and the surrounding area is 'come along' - the assessment will only take five to ten minutes of your time."

Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. If left untreated it can lead to heart disease, strokes, blindness and kidney failure.

Type two can be treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity but medication and/or insulin is often also required.