STEPPING UP to Footwear Poverty

There is a place where thousands of men, women, and children wear footwear that is not fit for purpose. And at least 280,000 homeless people (10,000 living on the streets) have no shoes or shoes that are falling to pieces, and that place is the UK.

This September Shoe Aid will begin its fundraising campaign to raise awareness about footwear poverty in particular School Shoes and Trainers. We want to raise the issue of footwear poverty and get people to focus on the challenges and impact it has. In September this year, there are four Tuesdays (we are calling these days SHOESDAYS), each of these days we are asking people to organise events to raise funds to help combat footwear poverty,  that’s four opportunities to take part, everyone can take part in one or all of the days.

Shoe Aid supports charities both here in the UK and internationally by providing footwear for all purposes to those most in need and struggling financially. We send requests to retail brands, wholesalers and manufacturers and ask them to provide new footwear, end-of-line footwear, samples and once-worn footwear. Shoe Aid then proactively finds charities, social and community enterprises to donate footwear items, from school shoes to everyday shoes for everyday wear.

Rather than have a badge or ribbon or other icon we want to ask people to wear ODD SHOES for one or all the SHOESDAYS. They can also wear NO SHOES. Sharing images from these events/days across social media should help raise the issues of footwear poverty.

People will not be limited to NO SHOES or ODD SHOES; we are looking for people to be creative too. We would like people to help headline the issues and challenges of footwear poverty here in the UK and the world.

As well as shoe/footwear donations we are asking for monetary donations to support Shoe Aids’ work. This would be (voluntary) £3 from each person who wears ODD SHOES or NO SHOES or donates items or footwear.

People and organisations could also have competitions, and quizzes (footwear themed) to raise funds for Shoe Aid and footwear poverty. There are no limitations, we will ask everyone to #Tag #SteppingUP2FootwearPoverty.

Shoe Aid relies on footwear donations to deliver its service to those in need. We ensure all our footwear is ‘Fit for Purpose’ and donate new and used items ‘Free of Charge’. Whilst the service is ‘Free’ Shoe Aid is not free to operate.

Poverty of any kind is not voluntary, part-time or at weekends only, Shoe Aid has volunteers who help sort and clean donated footwear in readiness. However, to help more people and organisations – Shoe Aid needs to operate ‘Full Time’ to meet the needs and demands of men, women, children and families who don’t have suitable footwear to part in everyday life.

“A child attending school can now wear shoes that no longer have holes, leak or are worn out, a feeling of inclusion without bullying or ridicule”.

“Man or Woman given a pair of smart formal shoes to attend an interview – feeling a sense of normal, their confidence is boosted, they get the Job, life changes. Possible with a single pair of shoes donated by Shoe Aid”.

“A group of students at a modern secondary school from disadvantaged backgrounds are given outdoor boots/shoes to take part in a national student scheme – walking, climbing, hiking and other outdoor activities. They all make new friends, and gain a life-changing experience, all possible with a donation”.

STEPPING UP, making a difference and changing lives

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