Footscape began its journey with a dedicated committee and volunteer network that have used their skills in public health, community development, finance and information technology to assist disadvantaged persons with foot problems. Active Feet proudly supports the mission of Footscape, a non for-profit organisation that to assist disadvantaged persons with foot problems. Every month Active Feet receives unuse pair of shoes donated by our customers after they purchased a new pair of shoes.
Footscape recognises the importance of healthy feet for disadvantaged persons to maintain overall health, keep physically active and participate in social activities. However, for many individuals it can be difficult to access Podiatry services or afford new shoes to care for their feet.
Footscape works together with affiliate organisations to deliver volunteer Podiatry services, provide free shoes, socks, orthotic devices and foot care kits and train health care workers about foot care. It’s a focussed and efficient system which has positively impacted thousands of lives.
Since 2013 Footscape 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.
The material aid that Footscape provides to this clinic consists of footwear, socks, and foot care kits. These items compliment the clinical and culturally safe service by enabling display and distribution of items. Clinically, the evidence around the role of indicated footwear in the treatment of a variety of presenting pathologies is well known, as are the benefits of foot care kits in diabetic foot self-care.
The Footscape material aid starts conversations though too. Between Community, between Podiatrist and client, and between Podiatrists and Community. Conversations about footwear styles, function, purpose, and ability to house orthoses all educate patients, promoting informed self-determined choices for school, sporting, recreational, work, and personal use. But these conversations turn into yarns too, exemplifying two-way learning such that Podiatrists learn more about local culture and First Nations perspectives of foot health. Country people like to get out on, and importantly, some Truth-telling.
Since 2009 Footscape has distributed 80,000 pairs of shoes and socks.
Footwear, Socks, Orthotic Devices and Foot Care Kits
Footscape provides Podiatry endorsed footwear, socks, orthotic devices and foot care kits to disadvantaged persons including homeless persons, financially disadvantaged children, asylum seekers, First Nations persons and victims of domestic violence. Painful foot problems affecting such persons are accentuated if individuals are unable to access these important materials.
Since 2009 Footscape has proudly:
- Distributed 80,000 pairs of shoes and socks.
- Distributed 3,000 foot care kits to people experiencing homelessness, asylum seekers and First Nations People to promote foot health.
- Distributed 400 pairs of orthotic devices, predominately to financially disadvantaged children encountering foot problems.
Asylum seekers have difficulty prioritising their foot health given that other necessities demand focus. Nonetheless, the importance for asylum seekers to access Podiatry services and achieve optimum foot health is central towards maintaining quality of life.
Since 2012 Footscape has been providing pro bono Podiatry clinical services for members of the Asylum seeker resource centre. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has become the largest provider of aid, advocacy and health services for asylum seekers in Australia. During this period Footscape has concurrently sourced new footwear, new socks, orthotic devices and foot care kits to promote delivery of care at no cost to members.
Orthotics (shoe inserts) are commonly utilised by Podiatrists in the management of children encountering lower limb development problems. However, as they are expensive to purchase, financially disadvantaged families can have difficulties affording this treatment option. Accordingly, Footscape is funding orthotics and new footwear for affected children attending our project affiliate organisations. Podiatrists employed by accredited Australian Primary and Community Health Organisations are eligible to use the Material Aid Request Form to submit details of orthotics and footwear needing funding by Footscape.
Footscape is endeavouring to inform, educate and motivate Podiatrists, other health professionals and the greater community in regards to the foot health inequity encountered within developing communities and by disadvantaged persons.
Community engagement activities include providing presentations to university students and Medical Conferences, production of electronic newsletters for members and social media communications.
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