Homelessness is becoming an increasing problem for society. There are a number of factors relating to the causes of homelessness with a minority that are entrenched homeless and prefer that way of life. Within the homeless population there is a higher level of mental illness and with the socially isolation along with drug and alcohol abuse which can at times dealing with the problem can be quite challenging. There are increased health needs of this population and their transient nature of the lifestyle complicates getting care to those with rough sleep. These people have problems with their feet and research has shown that those taking up the offer of a podiatry service are far more likely to see other health care professionals when needed. Often when being treated by a podiatrist they often want to talk about other serious issues they may have and this provides an opportunity to initiate referrals to get this problems managed.
A charity, Forgotten Feet, was set up in 2013, in Worcester, by podiatrist Deborah Monk to provide free foot care services to the homeless. It grew rapidly as a nationwide charity extending across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and into Scotland. There are many towns covered by Forgotten Feet Clinics which are run by Podiatrists and Foot health Practitioners. The vision of Forgotten Feet is to set up clinics in as many towns as possible, where a need is identified to create a network of free foot care for the poorest in society throughout the UK. Forgotten Feet became a registered charity in 2018 and is run by a team of five, committee members and trustees. On an episode of PodChatLve, the livestream on Facebook for podiatrists the key personal from Forgotten Feet got to talk about their incredible work and to get more support for the charity. They talked about their services and their fund raising work and what the profession could do to support them