A pair of blue slipper shoes in the bottom right hand corner, on pale ash coloured floor boards

Older residents living in Southend are being invited to exchange their worn-out slippers to help prevent trips and falls.

Through the slipper swap project, older and frail residents can swap their old slippers for a free brand-new pair which have design features to help prevent falls, such as secure fastenings and robust soles. Where necessary, residents will also be linked to other sources of support which could be beneficial.

Many older people are keen to stay independent at home, however walking indoors in worn-out slippers, barefoot or in socks can increase the risk of falls, slips and trips. This may result in spending time in hospital or receiving treatment at home which can make them feel less independent and more socially isolated.

Cllr James Moyies, cabinet member for public health and social care, said: “I am delighted that we can offer this service which is vital to the health and safety of our older and frail residents.

“There are several factors that can be linked to the prevention of falls and one of them is to wear a good pair of slippers. Old slippers can cause trips and falls, often leading to a stay in hospital, and this can also lead to loss of independence and confidence.

“Working with our library network and voluntary sector organisations, we will set up accessible slipper swap events so that residents at risk of a fall can bin their old slippers and pick up a brand-new pair of anti-slip ones for free as well as find out about ways to stay safe and well.”

Slipper Swap events will take place throughout November 2023 at the following venues:

  • Kent Elms library, Tuesday 7 November
  • Havens Hub, Hamlet Court Road, Friday 10 November
  • Leigh-on-Sea library, Tuesday 14 November
  • Shoeburyness library, Tuesday 21 November
  • The Forum, Tuesday 28 November

No booking is required to attend these events, just turn up between 10am and 12pm and staff will be available to help you and introduce you to the Slipper Swap services and additional information if required.

The Slipper Swap project is being delivered in partnership with Southend on-Sea City Council’s community engagement team and local groups and organisations.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from a new pair of slippers to prevent falls, slips and trips, please contact the Southend Communities Team by emailing: communitiesteam@southend.gov.uk.

A slipper swap programme is also planned for February 2024. Details to follow.

Published: Monday, 16th October 2023