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Foothold winter appeal

Please donate today. Together we can make this season a little brighter for our engineering community.

Please give to our winter appeal

And make a difference to engineers and their families this winter

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Will you support a fellow engineer in need?

As the nights are drawing in and the days are getting shorter, the countdown to that time of year is well and truly upon us. Lots of us are busy making plans with family, buying gifts and putting up decorations. But for others, it can be especially challenging. There are some in our Foothold community of engineers who won’t have the opportunity to spend time with loved ones this winter, and for these people it can be a very isolating and lonely month.

Imelda Branded Circle

I'm Imelda and I know first-hand what that feels like.

This December, I’d like to share my story with you.

Imelda's story

I know how difficult this time of year can be for those who have lost someone. This will be my fifth Christmas without my beloved husband Clifford.  

When he died suddenly in April 2019 from a huge stroke it was the saddest day of my life. I lost the person that understood and loved me, and I was shocked, lost and fearful of being alone. I couldn’t bear the pain I was feeling. 

We’d been married for 31 years, and he was my everything. After Clifford died, I faced not only the emotional burden but also the harsh reality of financial strain. Each day was filled with anxiety, I was so worried about how I would manage to pay for his funeral or just put food on the table. I couldn’t eat or sleep, I just cried. In those dark days I struggled to find a reason to carry on. I’d lost my purpose and spark for life. 

Please donate today. Together we can make sure no engineer has to face what I went through this winter.

Every donation, no matter how small, makes a big difference. Thank you.

I didn’t think that things could get much worse. But, when I realised, I would have to move out of our home in Weymouth and leave all our memories behind, it was another devastating blow. Clifford’s health had deteriorated before his stroke, and I’d spent 5 years being his full-time carer. During this time, I’d given up my job and we’d exhausted all our savings. I had no income, no savings and didn’t know where to turn. I was fortunate that I was able to move in with a friend and rent a bedroom from her, but I just wanted to be back in my home.  

Sorting through mine and Clifford’s life’s possessions and giving them away to charities was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. One day, when my stepdaughter and I were going through Clifford’s things, we came across his IET membership card. My stepson is also an engineer and an IET member and he knew about Foothold and encouraged me to ask for help. I felt embarrassed and ashamed, but, left with no other choice, together we made the call to Foothold.  

I’m Rachel and I'm a case worker at Foothold.

"Asking for help takes courage. Anyone can find themselves in a position where they need support. You are part of this community and it’s okay to ask for help. "


No-one should feel unable to cope this winter

Foothold’s support extended beyond financial aid. They helped me honour Clifford with a headstone, supported my job search, and offered a monthly grant that proved invaluable during my journey towards independence. 

Today, I stand proud, with a job as a carer which I find rewarding and a home filled with happiness. Your support can be a beacon of hope for those like me facing their darkest days, reminding them that a brighter future is possible. 

I have gradually replaced the furniture and possessions I had to give up. I’ve found joy in celebrating again. I feel proud of myself and think Clifford would be proud of me too. My life now is about being happy and helping others. My advice to anyone who is struggling is to seek help, don’t be afraid or ashamed, there are people out there who care and will help you.  

Foothold provides a safety net for our families during difficult times. I may not have Clifford anymore, but I have the Foothold community 

As winter sets in, Foothold will be a lifeline for hundreds of people facing this season alone. But they rely on donations to be able to provide this vital support. Your donation, any amount you can afford, will ensure that Foothold continues to fund care and support during these tough times.  

Give a fellow engineer a gift they'll never forget.

Help us spread some festive cheer with our engineering community by giving something back today. Thank you for your support - to an engineer in need, it makes a world of difference.

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