Sylvia’s Story: A Step Towards Safety with the Sloppy Slippers Campaign

North Petherton resident, Sylvia Selway, who is in her early-80s, shares her journey of overcoming mobility challenges and regaining her confidence, thanks to the “Sloppy Slippers” campaign by NHS Somerset and Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP).

Sylvia’s story begins with two significant falls. The first incident occurred near a local church, where a misstep over a tree stump led to a tumble. Thankfully, she escaped without injuries. However, the second fall was more concerning; Sylvia lost her footing at a local bus shelter, resulting in a head injury and temporary unconsciousness. These incidents, coupled with several near misses, impacted Sylvia’s life, making her understandably anxious about falling again.

Post-fall, Sylvia noticed a change in how confident she felt when out and about. “I’ve become more aware and nervous of walking. I try harder now to be careful, but it feels so easy to trip now,” she explains. The fear of falling again led her to limit her outdoor activities and she sought company when venturing out, affecting not only affected Sylvia’s physical health but also her social independence.

Following her falls, Sylvia’s visit to the GP resulted in routine checks but no further guidance, leaving her unsure of the steps she could take to prevent future falls. This is where the ‘Sloppy Slippers’ campaign comes in.

Recently, Sylvia received a pair of slippers from the campaign. “I’m wearing these slippers and they’re very comfortable. They’re very sturdy, and I feel very confident wearing them,” she shares. This newfound confidence is a testament to the campaign’s goal: to provide adults in Somerset with stable, safe footwear to ultimately prevent falls.

Sylvia’s experience also underscores the importance of staying active to maintain balance and strength. She said, “The old phrase ‘Use it or lose it’ holds true. I’ve always been fit, but I’ve noticed a difference since doing less. Since receiving these sturdy, comfortable slippers from the Sloppy Slippers campaign, together with using strength and balance resources, I feel a renewed sense of safety and confidence in my daily life. It’s a small change that’s made a big difference.”

Sylvia’s journey with the “Sloppy Slippers” campaign highlights the path for many adults facing similar challenges. It’s a powerful reminder of the difference that building strength and balance, together with appropriate support and resources can make in enhancing mobility and confidence amongst adults in Somerset.

For more information on the Sloppy Slippers campaign and how you can participate or help a loved one, visit or contact SASP on or 07305 049840.