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Foothold supports more engineers than ever before during Covid-19 pandemic

Supporting 1,275 engineers across 50 countries to live better during the Covid-19 pandemic - a 49% increase on 2019-20.

We’re proud to announce that we supported more engineers and their families in need 2020-21 than during any other period in our 130-year history – our most successful year to date.

We provided £2.1 million’s worth of support to 1,275 engineers in 50 countries from July 2020 to June 2021 – a 49% increase in instances of support compared to the previous year.

This included 362 emergency financial grants to help engineers deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 82% of recipients saying the grant had made a great deal or a lot of difference to their lives.

We also provided 23,000 instances of health and wellbeing advice, 650 sessions of sleep support, and 123 instances of career support (25% more than the previous year), with a total of £1.5 million being provided in financial awards spanning care and disability grants and the emergency Covid-19 grants.

Our CEO Jane Petit said:

“Just like the rest of the world, the engineering community was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with just short of 2,000 calls to our emergency helpline during the period 2020-21.

Whilst we recognise and understand deeply the pressures and suffering caused by the pandemic, we’re proud to have been able to support more engineers than at any other point in our long history to get back on their feet, and take back control of their lives.

It is testament to the resilience of the engineering community as a whole that 83% of members felt supported by the wider community during this incredibly difficult period, and we’re immensely humbled to be a part of it.”

The 2020-21 period also saw the launch of our free digital Wellbeing Hub, as part of our 3-year collaboration with engineering and technology recruitment firm Gattaca.

Developed in response to a surge in mental health-related enquiries as a result of the pandemic, the hub gives all engineers, regardless of whether they are an IET member, on-demand access to a wide range of expert content, resources and self-help courses to help them take care of their health and wellbeing.

Our volunteers also played a major role in our success during 2020-21, donating 1,353 hours to support the engineering community – especially through our telephone befriending service, helping to improve the mental wellbeing of those feeling isolated during the worldwide lockdowns.

Denice Houslin, our Support Services Manager, commented:

“2020-21, at the height of the global pandemic, was a very difficult year for everyone, particularly those who were furloughed or made redundant, experienced declining mental health, and struggled to pay the bills under increasing financial pressure.

The fact that 82% of those we supported said that we made a significant difference to their daily lives, 19% more than in 2018-19, shows just how much of an impact our support had in alleviating some of these challenges for many people in our community, helping them to weather the worst of the storm so they could try and return to some semblance of normality.”

For more information on how we supported the engineering community in 2020-21, click here. You can also join our Wellbeing Hub for free to get access to useful, clinically approved resources to improve your physical and mental health.

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Simons story support in coronavirus pandemic image
This money will cover all our everyday expenses until the government funding kicks in or we can start working again. I think it’s just brilliant that there is somebody giving this kind of support. Simon Gaze View story Read quote by Simon Gaze
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 Read quote by Alan Monelle
molly counselling support
I feel like I have a safety net which reassures me massively. We still have stressful days, but I can manage them so much better than before. View story Read Molly’s story of getting counselling support
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 Read quote by Sharon Monelle