Podiatry students put best foot forward to help the homeless
Podiatry lecturers and students from New College Durham volunteered to step out and help the homeless.
For the fifth year running, lecturers Barbara Chambers and Natalie Roe, plus five of their students, spent Boxing Day at the Crisis centre in Newcastle providing much-needed footcare to this vulnerable group of adults.
The students, who are in their final year studying BSc (Hons) Podiatry at New College Durham, worked alongside other health professionals, including GPs, to providing Crisis residents with access to essential healthcare and wellbeing treatments and advice.
Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and the wider community, the podiatry students were also able to distribute over 300 pairs of socks and 150 pairs of shoes to the Crisis centre.
“On the day the students set up a three station clinic. At the first station the guests had their feet washed and were triaged, next they received podiatric treatment and education, and lastly they were issued with socks and a shoes.
“The complexity of the guests’ needs is something the students have not experienced and having a very limited clinical history can be a challenge. It was a great experience and enabled the students to give something back to the community. The students were a credit to the School of Podiatry at New College Durham and to the podiatry profession.”
Throughout the day, guests openly chatted about life on the street and the daily challenges they face, which left a lasting impression on the students.
Podiatry student Jonathan Carr, age 27 from Bowburn, said:
“Working with Crisis was a rewarding opportunity. There are people out there that need care, which they may not be able to access due to personal circumstances. Not only were we available to provide aid and advice, but there were doctors on site in case any further care was needed. It was a great day and I would be happy to help again in the future.”
Podiatry is a specialist area of healthcare, allied to medicine, which involves care and maintenance of foot and lower limb conditions.