Skip to main content
storytelling blog

Friendship team – connecting the community one chat at a time

Hello!  I’m Holly, and I’m part of the Friendship Team at Foothold. My role is a really lovely one, because I get to chat with members of our community who call us. And we really do chat about anything and everything.

This has been a special experience to me because it’s the first opportunity I’ve had to really connect with members of our community on a personal level. Up until this point I’ve worked almost exclusively behind the scenes at Foothold.

Connections in lockdown

The Friendship team is a project we’d planned on rolling out for a long time, because social isolation is real. But when the coronavirus hit and lockdown began, we decided now was a better time than ever to reach out to our community with offers of friendship.

We realised this because we went from working in the office where we’d chat with each other during tea and lunch breaks, to suddenly only communicating with each other by email, about work. It struck us that lockdown really had broken social connections for all of us.

We found ways to manage these feelings of isolation within our team. We formed a WhatsApp group, started a buddy scheme, and a weekly catch up on Zoom. This way we can see each other’s smiling faces and check in with each other, to catch up on how life’s been, and have open discussions about how we’re all feeling.

Friendship team

But we see the community we’ve built in the office as extending to everyone we support or are supported by. So, in realising how much we were missing casual chats with each other, it became obvious that it was the right time to launch the Friendship Team.

I can safely say that it’s been a real success so far! We’ve all learned a lot. From my perspective, I’ve learned a lot more about why we do what we do and what it means to the people who matter most to us.

Now, we’re thinking of ways we may be able to adapt the project to continue connecting Foothold friends in future.

If you’re interested in being part of the Friendship Team and support others in the community, or have someone reach out to you, get in touch today.

Other blogs

Michael Hargreaves, author of How Foothold’s new Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme can support you to achieve your career goals

How our Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme can support students and apprentices to achieve their career goals

In this blog, we explore how we can support engineering students and apprentices through our Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme.

View post
Laura Norton of the IET, author of: My story of improving neurodiversity awareness in engineering

My story of improving neurodiversity awareness in engineering

Laura Norton of the IET joins us to discuss why our Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme is vital for the whole engineering community.

View post

My journey as a neurodivergent engineer

Our Trustee Wolf shares his experience of being a neurodiverse engineer with dyslexia, as well as his advice for neurodiverse students.

View post

Your stories

sharon becoming a carer
The way we have dealt with the last 12 months is with a positive attitude, laughter and not being afraid to ask for help. Sharon Monelle View story
Alan overcoming illness
The financial support has alleviated so many problems for us. I can’t express how much it helped - it’s enabled us to live a life. Alan Monelle View story