Volunteering with Crisis
Podiatry student, Linda Scantlebury, responded to a Cosyfeet appeal for Crisis to help provide foot care to the homeless at Christmas. This is how she got on:
“I chose to volunteer with ‘Crisis at Christmas’ for a week over the festive period. They provide a place to stay, meals, new clothing, bedding and access to healthcare as well as information regarding housing, job seeking and essential services. My shifts were divided into seven hour slots at one of the ten venues across London. On my first shift I was allocated to assist a team of three qualified podiatrists.
As I had expected, the “clinic” was set up in very basic facilities; a classroom with a kitchenette adjoining. When the patient arrived, they were given a basin of warm soapy water to soak their feet in, and a clean towel to dry their feet off afterwards. The patient was then treated by the podiatrist, and I gave them two pairs of socks, two emollient sachets and a foot file. Some were in need of orthotics, and following an assessment were provided with off the shelf devices.
I was eager to begin my shift and start helping. I anticipated that we would encounter a myriad of serious foot problems that had gone untreated for a lengthy period. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the majority of patients we saw were in fact aware of the various drop in centres located around London which operate year round and provide a free podiatry service to the homeless. This meant that the severity of most conditions, had been kept in abeyance. I was tasked with giving out the socks, emollient and emery boards which were all gratefully received and it was a pleasurable task.”
Podiatry Student Linda Scantlebury