‘Sock it to me’ – Rotarians’ appeal for support to help homeless

A COVENTRY podiatrist has joined forces with local Rotarians and a Birmingham charity to help the homeless get back on their feet again – quite literally.

Gary Dancer, who runs a private chiropody clinic in the city, is working with The Rotary Club of Erdington and Have A Hart, Help The Homeless to provide much-needed chiropody.

The volunteer team, also supported by NHS footcare assistant Tracey Launchbury, from Erdington, provide nail cutting, hard skin removal and general care and advice as well as handing out free socks at their city centre base in Temple Row. Now they’re appealing to the public for more socks donations.

Have A Hart charity, socks, homeless, Erdington Rotary Club, chiropodist
Gary Dancer, right, pictured with Have A Hart founder Shirley Hart, Rotarian Tracey Launchbury and volunteers, some of whom were previously homeless.

Gary Dancer said: “I have done clinics for the homeless for years, often with the Salvation Army. I asked the charity whether this was something that they’d like to introduce as part of their outreach program. They were very enthusiastic and the club wanted to support it.

“We have partnered with Have a Hart because we have supported their work for a long time. We know that they are a trusted organisation that share our values as Rotarians.

“We provide a basic Chiropody service such as nail cutting, hard skin removal and general care and advice – although we have also needed to provide first aid a couple of times, such as getting glass out of one person’s foot. Everyone we treat gets a pair of socks before they go.”

He added: “The simple fact is that homeless people have many problems with their feet because of poor shoes and often wet feet for days at a time. This can be very dangerous because it can lead to ulcers and other conditions. The other problem is undiagnosed diabetes combined with drug and alcohol abuse can be lethal. I can detect and give advice about this which hopefully saves big problems later on.”

Have A Hart charity, socks, homeless, Erdington Rotary Club, chiropodist
Have A Hart volunteers.

Have A Hart is a non-profit outreach service run by volunteers and takes place at the rear of House of Fraser between 6-9pm on the last Saturday of the month. Further information at: https://www.hartoutreach.org/

Men’s and women’s socks can be donated to Gary by contacting him at: garydancer902@gmail.com

Rotary is a worldwide association of local clubs, for men and women in business or the professions who: provide service to the community at local, national and international level; encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and work for goodwill and peace in the world.