Step Up: Page Kirk's September Journey with Shoe Aid

Amanda Willis profile picture

September at Page Kirk was all about stepping up for a remarkable cause – Shoe Aid. We embarked on a journey to tackle footwear poverty, and it was an adventure filled with fun, awareness-raising and heartfelt contributions. Charity coordinator Amanda Willis reflects on our journey and explains the incredible work of Shoe Aid.

Page Kirk's Commitment to Charity

At Page Kirk, we're not your typical number-crunching accountants. We're on a mission to make this world a brighter place. At the start of 2023, we pledged to support 12 different charities, one for each month. And September was all about stepping up – literally!

Our September was a shoeriffic journey, and trust us, it wasn't just your run-of-the-mill fundraising affair; it had a sole-ful twist!

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Shoe Aid Volunteers Ken, Christine, Brenda and Eric with Amanda and Andy Hughes, Shoe Aid CEO.

Meet Shoe Aid: Changing Lives One Step at a Time

Shoe Aid is a charity on a mission to make a difference and change lives. They are committed to sourcing and providing footwear to ensure that no child or adult goes without shoes. Here's a glimpse of how Shoe Aid's impact reaches far and wide:

Empowering Students: Students from disadvantaged backgrounds receive outdoor boots to participate in national student schemes, opening doors to outdoor activities, new friendships and life-changing experiences.

Boosting Confidence for School Kids: When schoolchildren returned to classes in September, Shoe Aid stepped in to provide suitable school shoes, boosting their confidence and inclusivity.

Supporting Job Seekers: Shoe Aid supplies formal shoes to adults, enabling them to attend interviews and secure employment to support themselves and their families.

Fuelling Dreams: Teens can join local football teams with Shoe Aid's help by providing them with football boots, boosting their confidence, teamwork skills and even potentially paving the way for future football legends!

Assisting the Homeless: In the UK, over 10,000 people sleep rough. Shoe Aid provides suitable outdoor footwear to help them face the elements, enhancing comfort and preventing footwear-related infections.

Steptember and Shoesday Campaign

In September, Shoe Aid ran a fantastic awareness campaign called "Steptember." This year, with four Tuesdays in September, each one became a "Shoesday."

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Amanda visiting Shoe Aid HQ where she met CEO Andy.

Page Kirk's Fundraising Highlights

Here's a glimpse of how we at Page Kirk got involved:

Odd, Old or No Shoes: On the first Shoesday, our team proudly wore odd shoes, old shoes, or even no shoes at all, raising awareness of footwear poverty.

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Page Kirk Team wearing odd, old or no shoes to raise awareness.

Shoe-Themed Bake Sale: The second Shoesday featured a delightful shoe-themed bake sale, featuring cakes and chocolate shaped like shoes.

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Jacqui enjoying some shoe themed baked goods.

Shoe Wanging Competition: The third Shoesday brought out our competitive spirit, with a Shoe Wanging competition. Nicola, from our payroll team, emerged victorious, claiming the grand prize – a shoe horn! Who knew shoe throwing could be so entertaining?

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Amanda, Fabian, Nicola, Ryan, Matt and Matt having ago at the Shoe Wanging Competition.

Dancing for the Cause: The fourth Shoesday called for some groovy moves. as we danced our way into everyone's hearts, spreading joy and awareness.

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Rebekah and Amanda spreading awareness.

Celebratory Dress Down Day: To cap off our month of fundraising, we had a dress-down day on the last Friday of September.

Additionally, our team collected shoes from family and friends to contribute to Shoe Aid's cause.

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During the month, I had the privilege of visiting Shoe Aid's headquarters, where I had the opportunity to meet their dedicated volunteers and witness firsthand the remarkable work they do. I spent time exploring their warehouse and had the pleasure of speaking with the CEO, Andy Hughes. It was a somewhat nostalgic experience for me, as a donation from a dancing shoe company had arrived, and in my past, I was a was a dancer. I shared some insights with Andy about the various types of dancing shoes. I think he learnt a thing or two!

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Amanda reminiscing about her dancing days at Shoe Aid HQ.

I was surprised at how many different types of shoes there were, trainers and boots I was expecting, but there were also martial art shoes, prom shoes and even flip flops. The charity isn't just about donating shoes to someone that doesn't have any, but is also about inclusion, ensuring people have experiences and live fulfilled lives.

Andy commented about our fundraising support:

“It's wonderful to see so much enthusiasm and commitment from our friends at Page Kirk. You've come up with some really ingenious fundraising activities and entered into the spirit of Steptember. As a result, it has helped with awareness of the charity and also people will have opportunities that wouldn't otherwise have been available to them. Thanks so much for your support!”

He continued about Shoe Aid's work:

“There is global footwear poverty which impacts 1.5 billion people worldwide. We believe it's wrong that millions of unwanted shoes end up in landfill, almost 2 million every week. Which is as much an environmental disaster as it is a tragic waste. It's wrong that thousands of men, women and children do not have functional shoes, which is damaging to foot health, academic potential and self-esteem – not just now, but later in life. 

We cannot continue to ignore the problem. There is a solution, and this is Shoe Aid's mission. Without the support of businesses and individuals like those at Page Kirk, we cannot realise our mission. We are asking for people to donate something which we all have at home and no longer use or need. There are collection boxes at many high street locations making it easier for people to donate. You too can help Shoe Aid to helps others by donating your unwanted footwear. And you can help to raise funds to cover our operational costs by donating through PayPal.”

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Shoe Aid HQ where Amanda met the charity's CEO Andy.

How You Can Help Shoe Aid

If your organisation, school, college, university or community enterprise would like to donate shoes, you can reach out to Shoe Aid directly to arrange a collection.

If you are a business interested in donating surplus or returned stock, not only will you bring comfort to those in need, but you may also be able to receive tax relief. Read our article on the Tax Benefits of Charitable Giving, written by our tax consultant, Nick Giles. He discusses corporate gift aid, corporation tax relief, capital allowances, capital gains tax relief, and VAT relief. Alternatively, contact our tax advisers to learn more. By adhering to specific conditions and documentation requirements, businesses can optimise the advantages of their charitable contributions.

As Andy said, you can also donate via their website:

Getting Help from Shoe Aid

If you are an educational institution or a charitable organisation supporting individuals in need of suitable footwear, Shoe Aid is there to assist. They provide footwear 'Fit for Purpose' for various occasions. From school shoes and sports shoes through to prom shoes. Please contact Shoe Aid through to ask for the footwear you require.

Unfortunately, they do not make donations directly to the public. If you are struggling and need help, please contact a support/community group and they will get in touch with Shoe Aid to organise a donation of footwear.

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Charlotte, James, Matt, Connor, Ben, Jonathan, Matt, Anees, Jonathan, Trish, Jacqui, Amanda and Lucy from the PK team of the first Shoesday of the month.

Next Stop: Guide Dogs – Prepare for the Paw-ty!

As we bid farewell to a shoe-tastic September adventure, we're ready for our next charity journey in October. The Page Kirk will be teaming up with Guide Dogs – an organisation dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with visual impairments. Get ready for paws-itively fun times!