What Happens at a Leg Club and Who Will Be There?

 No appointment is required and the Leg Club opening hours should be available from the local surgery, community nurses' office, adverts in the local Parish magazine and village shops, or from the Leg Club website.

You can drop into your local Leg Club at any time during opening hours, and you will be made to feel extremely welcome by the receptionist and members. Administration and refreshments are provided by a committee of volunteers, and transport may be available through Dial a Ride or volunteers, depending on the arrangements made between the Leg Club team and community.

The Receptionist is a volunteer and may well have experienced life with a leg-related problem. He or she will be very sympathetic to how you may be feeling, especially if you have a leg ulcer. The receptionist will take details of why you are attending, and you will be given a number so you know when you are going to be seen. The waiting environment is welcoming and you will be introduced to other members, and the volunteer responsible for refreshments will ensure you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

The layout of the Leg Club is one of a social club, where people with leg-related problems attend and participate as they wish. Some remain to have coffee and tea throughout the session.

Treatment is undertaken collectively in a separate area where 2 or 3 people can have their legs washed and dressed in the same room. This gives them the opportunity to compare healing and treatments. Members are encouraged to discuss treatment issues with the nursing team and other Club members. Of course, each Leg Club also provides private facilities for those who wish to have treatment in privacy.

Members experiencing a similar condition talk openly about their experience. Most people have found this to be most beneficial and reassuring - the knowledge that they are not alone, and others are experiencing the same or similar conditions.

A small survey was carried out by the committee of two Leg Clubs to obtain their members' views of the Clubs. The results indicated that a non-threatening environment was an important factor. Members who were reluctant to visit a medical centre for treatment found that attending a clinic in a social setting gave them a sense of purpose, that they shared a common problem, and were not isolated. They formed friendships, gained an understanding of others' problems and needs, and their medical problems became secondary. This network of mutual support and friendship gave members a strong sense of motivation as well as trust, confidence, and understanding of their treatment.

Another important part of Leg Clubs' activities is the pastoral care of its members. The nature of this care varies, from the simple provision of tea, coffee and biscuits at each session, to sending flowers to mark important events or bereavements, to hospital visiting when that is appropriate. It is a significant part of the committee's role to listen to the needs and comments of the members and where possible to meet them.