HAMPSHIRE’S first club supporting people with leg problems has launched in Basingstoke.

Acorn Health Partnership has opened the Leg Club at St Andrew’s Church, in Western Way, South Ham, offering their patients the chance to receive treatment and socialise in an informal setting.

The club, which is the first in the county, is part of the Lindsey Leg Club Foundation – a not for profit charity run by volunteers – and it will be totally self-funding.

Created as a unique partnership between the practice and district nurses and local community, the club aims to support patients who are isolated because of leg issues, giving them somewhere to socialise, rebuild their self-esteem, receive support and de-stigmatise their condition.

Lucie Oakley, healthcare assistant at the partnership, said: “It could be someone who has a leg problem that’s just occurred or it could be someone with a long-term issue such as an ulcer.

“Because it’s in a social setting, it’s not clinical, they can socialise with other people and have a coffee or tea and chat with other members. They can get to know other people because it might be that they don’t see anyone else the rest of the week.”

Leg problems could be anything from varicose veins and ulcers, to leg pain and injuries, with all ages welcome.

The idea of the clinic comes from the Lindsey Leg Foundation, which has around 40 clubs across the UK.

Amber Truscott, senior nurse manager, who set up the Basingstoke clinic with Tracy Bond, leg ulcer lead, said: “Lindsey, who set up the foundation, found so many of her patients were isolated and that’s why she set it up.”

Amber visited other successful leg clubs before launching the Basingstoke one, and learned that evidence suggests that clubs can improves healing rates and that recurrence incidents dramatically reduce because club members attend for well-leg checks and have on-going health education.

The club runs as a drop-in on Friday mornings, with no appointment required, and the team expects around 40 people to attend each week.

The club will be funded through fundraising, with a raffle held to pay for initial equipment.

Joyce Earwicker was one of the first to visit the new club.

The 94-year-old from Basingstoke said she liked the environment, adding: “On 18 September I damaged my leg I knocked it on something and I have been having treatment every week since. Everyone is very friendly here.”