Footscape is celebrating 90,000 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, First Nations persons, financially disadvantaged children and victims of domestic violence at over seventy affiliate organisations.

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. Boab Health Services: A Western Australian health organisation that provides services across the Kimberley, working closely with First Nations clients living with chronic disease. Podiatrist Alicia Schifferle recently outlined the value of Foot Care Kits and other Footscape material aid to the service:

The Foot Care Kits provide physical props to prompt conversation and get people actively involved in learning self foot care. People are always more engaged if they can see how it directly affects them, in this case, they can see how they can have some level of autonomy and impact on their foot health. In consults we will often demonstrate to people how to file and apply moisturiser and then have the patient repeat the process in the room. This opens up the space for clinical yarning where we can discuss different situations that may require action eg: finding a wound.

This is where we can use the betadine and Band-Aids in the kits to educate on appropriate wound dressings and yarn about the risk of infection. In an environment where there is often a large level of mistrust, for good reason, of the dominant western health system, being able to open up a positive yarning experience with physical props builds trust and rapport which is the baseline for any meaningful work. This will then have a positive flow on effect for ongoing relationships and appointments in the future.

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