New College Durham School of Podiatry once again had the great privilege of providing service to the Newcastle upon Tyne branch of Crisis for Christmas on Boxing Day.
On the day at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne branch of Crisis at Christmas podiatry sat alongside a GP and other allied health professionals providing a valuable easy to access service. These other services included, counselling, dentistry and Indian head massage.
The students set up a three station clinic;
- station 1 the guests had their feet washed and were triaged,
- station 2 they received podiatric treatment and education,
- station 3 the guest were issued with socks and a shoes.
The guests openly chatted about life on the street and the daily challenges they face. To all this left a lasting impression.
The final year podiatry students continue to find working with Crisis at Christmas to be a great experience. The complexity of the guests needs being something they have not experienced to date in their other clinical experiences. Having a very limited clinical history can be a challenge. Additional to the experience is being able to give something back to the community.
Thoughts from the students…
Lisa “At first I was a little anxious to see what guests/patients we would be helping. To see people sometimes having no food for 4 days or sometimes longer, cold, wet and looking poorly is upsetting, however to see their faces and a smile when we offer them new socks and new shoes it becomes a very rewarding and a humbling experience. No-one in today’s society should have to be without food or shelter, but this is happening, not just in Newcastle but every city. Coming together with others and making people more comfortable to get through another day is what we should all be doing when we can”
Jonathan “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 us students available to provide aid and advice but there were doctors on site also in case any further care was needed. It was a great day and we shall be happy to help again in the future”
Nicola “I found spending Boxing Day at Crisis in Newcastle to be a very rewarding experience. It has given me insight into some of the challenges that homeless and vulnerable people face. It challenged me personally with regard to my approaches and preconceptions towards patient self management and education. This invaluable experience will undoubtedly influence my future practice”
Kate “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at crisis, it was not what I expected at all, I did not realise how much work and effort to the run up to Christmas goes into the event and how much support is available for the homeless population. It was great to see the other services such as the hairdressing, reflexology and massaging and counselling. The experience was very rewarding, even providing the simplest form of treatment which involved, washing and drying feet, donating fresh socks and shoes, nail and skin care showed huge amounts of appreciation from the individuals. I felt overwhelmed to be a part of such a satisfying experience and observing the transformation and happiness the day brought to the individuals”
This invaluable experience will undoubtedly influence my future practice
Without the fabulous generosity from DLT and Robinsons for the supply of instruments and other consumables it would be difficult for us to provide a service to this vulnerable group. Additionally to providing podiatric services we also issued the guests with several new pairs of socks and a correctly fitting pre-loved pair of shoes. Again without the kindest of generosity from community members giving us donations, being able to provide over 300 pairs of socks and 150 pairs of shoes would have be an impossible task. The guests were extremely humbled by the generosity of the wider community
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Until next time
The Podiatry Careers Team