My Chosen Charity- Forgotten Feet

Forgotten Feet, it’s a little know charity that works across the UK offering free regular podiatry service for those most in need and least likely to have the means to access it.

Here’s a little history of the charity,

Forgotten Feet, set up in 2013, in Worcester, by podiatrist Deborah Monk is a rapidly expanding nationwide charity extending across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and into Scotland. Since then it has grown to 85 centres with 327 volunteers! How wonderful is that.

We treat a range of people, from rough sleepers, sofa surfers, those in shelters and people who have recently moved into accommodation, vulnerable, socially isolated and those on the poverty line.

We take foot care to them. By setting up clinics in homeless or drop in centres, we find service users are far more likely to use the service rather than if they had to travel elsewhere. We have an open door policy and encourage as many service users as possible to take up the service.

Research has shown that those taking up the offer of a podiatry service are far more likely to see other health care professionals. People often want to talk about other serious issues they may have,we act as a listening act and sign post people to other organisations as needed.

The podiatry service we offer through the Forgotten Feet project tends to be of a basic short-term nature and aims primarily to alleviate pain, replace worn out or ill-fitting footwear to prevent further problems, and help with simple biomechanical issues.

I started volunteering at the Taunton centre some 12 years ago and met some real West Country characters. It is a joy to help people who need it the most, the simple task of trimming someone’s toenails and giving their feet a clean is humbling.

I now offer a county wide service, working with the NHS team for the homeless. People attend my clinic in Langport. Get in contact if you know of someone who needs foot care.

We all forget how fortunate we are, to have clean, dry socks every day, shoes that fit our feet and a roof over our heads.

After each session I have a smile and a filled heart from knowing the good that just a few podiatry and nursing skills can do.

My dermatology (skin) knowledge is always needed at Forgotten Feet sessions, which is why I like to stay updated. I recently attended the British Dermatological Nursing Group conference in Harrogate, to keep my knowledge fresh. From meeting up with friends and colleagues there I was asked to present at the Canadian Medical Podiatry Associate Conference in December. I shared some stories and case studies of people I’ve met and how Forgotten Feet have helped them improve their quality of life.