I am thrilled to have a regular space in STRIDE this year to hopefully bring to life the work we do at Footscape, as well as shine a light on some of the more systemic issues that affect disadvantaged people and their foot health
Who we are
Firstly, to introduce Footscape. We work across a range of projects that all share one common denominator: to help support the foot health of people experiencing disadvantage.
Our projects range from providing materials to podiatrists who work in community health centres to treat people who experience disadvantage, providing pro bono podiatry services to asylum seekers, creating a platform for funding children’s orthotics and much more.
This month’s focus: where it all begins
To start this series off with something perhaps more tangible, our Podiatry Material Aid Centre continues to grow from its humble 2013 start in my spare bedroom, to leasing and transforming a community hall through the addition of new furniture and fixtures thanks to a range of small grants.
It is understood that our Podiatry Material Aid Centre is the largest of its kind in Australia, which has facilitated a record distribution of footwear and socks to homeless and other disadvantaged persons through the ‘Shoe It Forward’ and ‘Sock It To ‘Em’ projects.
What does this mean for us and the people we help? This space gives our volunteers an organised place to store and process material aid items. These items are then used to treat our clients who experience disadvantage and without this ‘home’ we would not have the ability to enact the change we do.
What is material aid?
So, what exactly is ‘material aid’? It really is any foot-related item that a person needs who is experiencing disadvantage which impacts on their foot health. This includes new socks, new footwear and foot care kits for clinical needs.
In fact, if you are a podiatrist within an Australian primary and community health organisation you can jump online to request these materials on behalf of your clients. We’ll review all requests and respond within two business days.
We are also developing our human resources, with the announcement of our governing committee members on our website. These people share a passion to implement the Footscape mission and promote foot health equity for all.
If you would like to be involved in any of our initiatives or to become a member of our charity, please complete the membership application form.
I look forward to sharing further updates with you as the month’s pass, and I hope you can stick with me for the journey ahead.