One of the terrible consequences of undiagnosed and untreated leprosy is loss of sensation in the hands and feet.

Many people suffer injuries as they cannot feel pain and these affected areas also become dry and more susceptible to injuries. Feet are particularly affected people may wear badly fitting shoes or walk with bare feet. This can cause ulcers and infections which can lead to amputations.

A footwear technican (right) crouches to measure the feet of a man affected by lymphatic filariasis

Similarly, lymphatic filariasis (LF), another neglected disease affecting millions of people around the world, causes extreme and painful swelling in the legs and feet which makes it impossible to wear conventional shoes.     

How we help

We have a team of trained footwear technicians who make protective and comfortable sandals for people which greatly reduces their pain, or risk of injury when walking and helps heal ulcers and wounds.

Our sandals are carefully handmade specifically to the measurements and needs of each person and the final product is attractive and stylish and looks like any other sandal, helping people to blend in and avoid any stigma.

In 2016-17, we provided 37,000 pairs of these life-changing sandals in India, Bangladesh and Mozambique.

Why Socks and Sandals?

To highlight this problem and raise funds so we can supply more pairs of sandals (which cost around £3) we have launched our Socks and Sandals campaign asking supporters to fundraise by wearing socks with their sandals which is normally viewed as an absolute fashion disaster!

Simply by wearing socks and sandals and donating to Lepra you can change lives - giving people back their independence and freedom to walk without fear of injury or stigma.

Get involved!

Get your friends, family, colleagues, club or society members involved by choosing a day and challenging everyone to wear their brightest socks with their sandals.

Rasheda - affected by leprosy

This is an easy, light-hearted and fun way to support people affected by leprosy, which will have an immediate and serious impact.

The funds raised can help us provide more sandals for people facing hard-to-imagine difficulties and pain in their daily life simply caused by walking. 

Just £3 can change the life of someone like Rasheda in Bangladesh - thanks to our protective sandals Rasheda's foot ulcers have healed and she can live life to the full.

Spread the word on social media

You can help get other people involved by taking photographs or a video of you all wearing socks and sandals and sharing these on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag  #SocksandSandals and #BeatLeprosy and tagging us – don’t forget to make a donation too!

Turning a fashion faux pas into a fashion statement against leprosy

Colchester MP, Will Quince and Mayor of Colchester, Peter Chillingworth, along with the deputy mayor and councillors from Essex, recently donned socks and sandals to help raise awareness!

Will Quince said: “It’s a little-known fact that an international charity based in Colchester is doing so much good in the world, especially south-east Asia.

"The organisation is helping to empower people affected by leprosy and to provide them with the support to live fulfilling lives.

"Socks and sandals are a fun way to raise funds, but also to make a serious point about the importance of bespoke, comfortable footwear."

Read the Gazette's article here

Find out more about how to hold a Socks and Sandals Day and the lives you can change here

Pay in your socks and sandals fundraising here