Footscape is celebrating 80,000 Podiatry material aid items now distributed to disadvantaged persons!!!

Since 2013 our charity has been providing footwear, socks, foot care kits and orthotic devices to identified homeless persons, asylum seekers, Aboriginal persons, financially disadvantaged children and victims of domestic violence at over sixty affiliate organisations. The Cohealth Podiatry homeless service, located in Melbourne, was the first project affiliate organisation to receive our material aid items to benefit their patients. Their Podiatry team has highlighted the value of Footscape contributions to their service:

People that are homeless use their feet as their primary mode of transport – to get food, attend appointments, for exercise to reduce stress or even to keep warm when it’s cold. It’s not uncommon for clients to report walking 10-15km every day, which can put stress on their bodies, especially if carrying all of their possessions.

Often our clients report their shoes getting stolen when they are asleep, so many wear their shoes all night, which can lead to bacterial infections – particularly if feet are wet. Footscape’s generous provision of high-quality second-hand shoes has greatly improved our ability to support these clients as they work to achieve their goals. For many clients this reduces their pain levels greatly and they are able to get back into walking. Others join our football team and use the runners for training – improving their health, self-esteem, building healthy friendships and learning skills such as anger management and working as a team. Without Footscape this would be impossible, and we are extremely grateful, as are our clients.

Additional health and welfare organisations request and receive Footscape items on behalf of disadvantaged patients/clients. Recent affiliations have commenced with:

  1. Fitted For Work: A Melbourne charity helping women experiencing disadvantaged get work, keep work and navigate through working life with success. Their goal is to provide women with practical skills, knowledge, self-esteem and know-how so that they can move forward with confidence in the workplace. Footscape has been donating new footwear as part of the Fitted For Work clothing program.
  2. Wuchopperen Health Service: An Aboriginal health organisation providing comprehensive primary health care services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Cairns. The Podiatry team are utilising Footscape foot care kits and socks to promote diabetic foot health amongst patients.

Collaboration is a process described by Taylor et al (2021) through which organisations who have different perspectives about an issue, or who can address different aspects of it, can constructively search for solutions together. The solutions will go beyond one partner’s own limited vision of what is possible and intervene more than their own scope of practice. As a Podiatry charity with finite resources Footscape recognises the importance of collaboration in our strategic plan.

Collaboration with likeminded health and welfare organisations has allowed Footscape the opportunity to reach and assist thousands of disadvantaged persons across Australia encountering foot pathology. Accordingly, Podiatrists working with disadvantaged communities in the far corners of the country are strongly encouraged to reach out to Footscape and benefit from prompt access to material aid items to help their clients.

Taylor, J., O’Hara, L., Talbot L., Verrinder, G. (2021) ‘Promoting Health: The Primary Health Care Approach 7th Edition’ Elsevier, Chatswood

Anthony Lewis
Chief Executive Officer