Specialist shoe fitter petitions parliament for essential worker status

Precious Soles owner Peter Varnavas is preparing to move to larger premises in Potters Bar. Picture:

Precious Soles owner Peter Varnavas has launched a petition to have trained footwear fitters recognised as providers of healthcare support services. - Credit: Danny Loo

With another national lockdown, a specialist medical shoe fitters is demanding the government recognise trained footwear fitters as an essential service and has launched a petition.

Peter Varnavas, who runs Precious Soles in Potters Bar, created the petition to ensure his service is recognised as essential, because of its specialist and medical nature.

Peter said of the move: “There are many common lower limb health issues which can very negatively impact on people’s health, no matter what age, although these problems are exacerbated as we grow older, obviously. But being able to move well, mobility in general and being able to exercise safely is vitally important to everyone’s health.

"It’s not just about having a nice looking or fashionable shoe, it’s about having the correctly-fitted shoe for the individual and for their individual needs.

“Professional shoe fitting and assessment, plus medical treatment can not be done via click and collect, online or via an app on someone’s phone.

"We help alleviate the pain caused by common conditions including arthritis, sciatica and bunions and sports injuries, as well as less common lower limb ailments such as hypermobility. Additionally hyper sensitivities caused by Autism, as well as diseases which go on to affect mobility including diabetes, strokes and falls.”

He concluded: “Personal service is at the very core of what we do. Locking down what we do is what I would say is therefore locking down an essential service. I would urge people to sign the petition and circulate so specialist and independent services such as ours can continue for the benefit of millions around the UK.”

The petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/564580

Precious Soles is open during clinic hours which are from Wednesdays to Saturdays and is taking appointment bookings via their website and by telephone.

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