|Orthopaedic Shoe Fund
|The Livery has been making grants towards the purchase of bespoke footwear for people with severe walking difficulties for more than 30 years. The initiative was started by Past Masters Colonel Dennis Barratt, Raymond Sancroft-Baker and Liveryman Michael Illingworth, and was originally identified by St Bartholomew’s and the London Foot Hospital as a gap in NHS funding.
Past Master Ian Scarr-Hall has also made a huge contribution to both the development of the initiative and the fund raising. Ian has run several times in both the London and New York marathons donating funds raised to the Orthopaedic fund, culminating in his running the 2008 London marathon on his 70th birthday. Consequently we raised a record £25,000.
As a result of these vigorous fund raising efforts and devoting our main energies towards this cause, we have been able to help many people with walking disabilities. Some cases are post-operative; for example we have been able to help ex-servicemen who have been injured in the course of their duty. However, the most common disabilities are Per Cavus (Club Foot), Lyphoedema caused by Diabetes when one or both legs can swell to double their normal size and Osteoporosis.
We have a number of specialist producers who are approached by people with disabilities who need to commission a pair of made-to-measure shoes. The costs are subject to the complexity of the disability and are unlikely to be less than £800 and could rise to as much as £2,000 for the most complex hand made shoes. Accordingly, for people who are often not in full time employment these costs are prohibitive and the orthopaedic funds provide grants of 50% towards the cost and the recipient bears 50% from their own resources. For further information go to www.madetomeasureshoes.co.uk and www.thecordwainer.co.uk
Some comments from the many letters of thanks we have received:
“…. these shoes have totally transformed my life.”
“I now have a pair of shoes which look good, feel comfortable and minimise the stress I suffer when walking.”
“I have had lyphoedema since I was 11 years old. Having an elegant pair of boots made for me has been a wonderful experience and they are a pleasure to wear.”
“You don’t know how much this means to me, to be able to walk without pain is heavenly.”