After a long time between drinks I’m pleased to report that Footscape’s monthly working bees have started up once more!
Why do I share this, since our location is only relevant to a handful of readers? To show all podiatrists, no matter where you are based, just what action can take place to support a charitable cause. If you would like to explore setting up a similar centre in your location, please do get in touch.
What we have done
Our Committee has worked hard to establish a COVID-safe setup at our Podiatry Material Aid Centre in Melbourne. This allows our amazing volunteers to return and prepare footwear, socks and foot care kits for distribution to disadvantaged persons encountering foot health problems. If you are local to us and interested in attending a working bee please contact the Footscape team.
Podiatrists and other enthusiastic members of the community are welcome to get onboard and assist. Working bees will be ongoing and take place on the first Saturday of each month from 10am to 1pm.
It is understood that the Footscape Podiatry Material Aid Centre is the largest of its kind in Australia. In doing so, the Centre has helped facilitate over 37,000 pairs of footwear/socks and 1,000 foot care kits at over 50 affiliate organisations to help identified people experiencing homelessness, asylum seekers, financially disadvantaged children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and victims of domestic violence.
Footscape aims to distribute a further 10,000 material aid items over the next twelve months through current and prospective affiliate organisations across Australia.
What you can do
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. The Cohealth Podiatry Department has been one beneficiary of this material aid.
Podiatrist Rebecca Mannix highlights 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 to 15 km 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 (Cohealth Kangaroos) 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.”
Footscape is assembling foot care kits to help disadvantaged persons access necessary resources, prioritise their foot health and promote daily self-care practices.