Students take steps to launch foot care campaign

Students from the New College Durham School of Podiatry have launched a campaign to educate the public about well-fitting footwear.

The Footwear for February campaign is a health initiative designed by final year BSc (Hons) Podiatry students as part of their Foundations of Practice module.  The aim of the campaign is to highlight the effects that ill-fitting shoes can have on a person’s feet and to educate the public on how to choose appropriate footwear for their foot type.

Posters and leaflets have been designed by the students, and they will all be speaking to patients about their footwear throughout the month of February at the New College Durham School of Podiatry clinics in Low Carrs and Bishop Auckland.

Podiatry student Claire Gilpin, 25-years-old from Durham, said: “We were split into groups and asked to come up with an initiative that would have a positive effect in podiatry.  One group came up with the Footwear for February campaign and the class as a whole wanted to put this idea into practice.  We generally assess each patient’s footwear as part of their routine treatment but the Footwear for February campaign will highlight patient education for wearing suitable shoes.”

She continues: “Try taking your shoe off and draw around it on a piece of paper.  Next, place your barefoot over the drawing and if your foot doesn’t fit inside the line you know your shoes are too small!”

25-year-old podiatry student, Danielle Moore, from Jarrow said: “With this campaign we wanted to show that there is more to podiatry than just cutting nails.  Footwear is an important part of the patient education we provide so we decided that if we could give it more attention in a month, it could have a positive influence on our patients and also us as health professionals, to act as a reminder of how important good, well-fitting footwear is to foot health.  We have had a lot of interest from footwear companies including Clarks, Asics, DB shoes and also Reed Medical.  Our lecturer Cheryl Hodgson has been very supportive in this initiative and has helped it to materialise.”

Podiatry lecturer Cheryl Hodgson said: “This has proved to be an excellent way for the students to enhance their teamwork and communication skills in a real life exercise and to target a health initiative within the local community.”

The Podiatry degree at New College Durham helps students to understand how to assess, diagnose and treat people with problems of the foot, ankle and lower limbs. There are no tuition fees as the programme is funded by Higher Education North East (HENE) and students can also apply for a means tested bursary.  New College Durham is one of only 12 institutions in the country that offer this degree.