24th May 2018
Did you know that unsuitable slippers can contribute to falls? By simply changing slippers, and selecting the appropriate style, you can reduce your risk of falling and therefore receiving injuries.
With this in mind, the Colchester Communities Can… programme (led by One Colchester) have paired up with Colchester Catalyst Charity to trial a Slipper Swap project which aims to reduce the number of falls locally and improve falls prevention, consequently improving people’s health and also linking people to local services. Slipper exchange schemes have been operated across the country and proven up to a 60% reduction in falls for people who are identified as at risk. Once a fall occurs, not only can there be direct injury, i.e. broken bones, but inactivity during recovery can reduce muscle mass by an average of 30%. This can have a significant impact upon patients and negatively impact upon their ability to live independently and self-manage their health.
One Colchester Slipper Swap events, will be organised in partnership with agencies including Helpline, in order to identify people who are at risk of falls and provide them with a free pair of new slippers. The slippers will fully cover the foot, have a slip proof sole and be designed for comfort. A Slipper Swap is an event that allows members of the public to come along and swap their old sloppy slippers for a new pair of well-fitted, non-slip slippers. The events would take place at accessible locations and provide an opportunity to ensure slippers fit well, and to give people access to information about other support services. Locations would include the One Colchester shop in Colchester Town Centre which would include information on social prescribing, community transport and health and wellbeing groups. For those people unable to attend a swap event, partners would distribute slippers and refer into My Social Prescription for any other needs clients identify. The pilot will run for up to 6 months and issue over 300 pairs of slippers.
Colchester Communities Can launched in January 2018 at the One Colchester shop to provide additional support during the Winter to residents. The shop has been a hub for collecting and issuing donations of clothing and Winter packs for vulnerable families, a site for drop in sessions on benefits and emergency heating, as well as a venue for social activities. More than 1000 people have visited the shop and a pop-up version of the shop even went out to zones every Friday for 5 weeks during February and March.
One Colchester is a partnership of public, voluntary and commercial organisations who have come together to address topics which can affect the whole community, in this case staying warm and well in the Winter and into the Spring. The committee is chaired by Community360 CEO, Tracy Rudling.
Tracy has commented, ‘We are very pleased to be able to add another dimension to this innovative, collaborative groups’ programme of activities. As a group, we are always seeking different ways to make sure that residents have resources or information that can help improve their quality of life. By working with Colchester Catalyst Charity, we can extend the reach of our work and take another step towards our goal of improving the health and wellbeing of local people.’
Rodney Appleyard, the Development Manager for Colchester Catalyst, said: “We liked this project because of its simplicity and huge potential to prevent many people from having risky falls that could seriously damage their health. It won’t take much effort for the older people to better equip themselves to feel safer around their home. It’s also a chance for them to socialise and meet other people, which is so important when it comes to reducing isolation.
“We are always keen to kick-start projects like this that can take on a long-term life of their own. We actively encourage people to contact us if they have a new idea.” Call Rodney Appleyard on 07784425268 to discuss new ideas for projects.
The Slipper Exchange project will begin on Friday 1st June at the One Colchester Shop, open Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm at Unit 81, Culver Street East, Colchester, CO1 1LF.
For further information please contact Community360 CEO, Tracy Rudling on 01206 505250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Community360 is an independent charity Established in 1968 to assist charities, voluntary and community organisations in Colchester and Braintree (300+) through any activities which provide representation, enable development, encourage liaison, nurture strategic partnerships and provide support to promote voluntary action.
Our frontline services are developed in response to local needs and not only assist established community groups but are designed to address unmet needs, with project development defined by the communities we work with to improve their outcomes and life opportunities.
These include Community Development, Community Transport, Shopmobility, Volunteer Centre, Timebank and Community Accounts. We signpost members of the public, provide training for low level skills, apprenticeships and volunteer recruitment. Groups receive assistance on fundraising, business planning, constitutions, policies/procedures, monitoring/evaluation and Quality Marks.