ARTIST Christine Wilcox-Baker plans to sock it to diabetes with a striking exhibition at the Manchester Science Festival.

The exhibition contains seven thousand socks, highlighting the extent of diabetes-related limb amputation each year - and the city’s pioneering steps against the condition.

Built using socks donated by Diabetic UK support groups and lower limb amputees, Seven Thousand Feet is designed to raise awareness of the risk of amputation presented by ulcers that can go undetected due to nerve damage and poor circulation.

The festival will also showcase the ground-breaking steps being taken by academics and scientists in Manchester to prevent amputations and fight diabetes.

Seven Thousand Feet was devised by Christine, from Pickmere, in consultation with Dr Martin Rutter, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Physician, University of Manchester, and clinical lead for Manchester Diabetes Centre, Manchester RoyaI Infirmary.

It can be seen at Manchester Central Library throughout the Manchester Science Festival and beyond - Thursday, October 18 to Wednesday, November 14.

Christine has been artist-in-residence at Tatton Park, created the ‘King Canute’ metal sculpture which now lives in the garden of the Knutsford Town Council offices and the Knutsford Diamond Jubilee arch at the entrance to Knutsford Library.

She said: “While the message delivered by Seven Thousand Feet is deliberately stark, Type 2 diabetes is often preventable through changes in lifestyle and diet.

“I am delighted to be helping raise awareness of the pioneering scientific work being done in Manchester to reduce the impact of diabetes.”

Patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes risk unknowingly developing ulcerated pressure sores, with 8,500 lower limb amputations each year in the UK among people with diabetes.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North at Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes-related amputations are on the rise.

“Every hour someone with diabetes has a toe, foot or leg amputated in the UK, yet with the right care and swift action many of these can be avoided.

“When you have diabetes, even something small like a blister can lead to an amputation, but most complications can be prevented by knowing the signs to look for.

“It is vital people with diabetes are aware of the risks and get their feet checked regularly.”