Update for our supporters

Foundation for Change was set up to work differently with people who have experienced repeated trauma and systemic inequality throughout their lives.


Rather than treat symptoms of this – such as addiction, poor mental health and poor emotional resilience – our approach has always been to use education to help people understand themselves, understand their emotions and the roots of these responses. Importantly, we believe it is crucial that people understand themselves in relation to the environment and society they live in. Our work is additionally intended to have a wider impact: people who have the self-efficacy to change their own lives also helps support social care systems focus resources where they are most needed.


Since 2014 we have refined our approach by constantly listening and talking to the people we work with. We feel it’s fair to say that we have developed a positive and impactful way to help people better weather the stress and difficulties in their lives.


At the moment there is much important practical work being done by charities and other organisations in response to COVID-19.  The pandemic is also occurring against the backdrop of increased prevalence of depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse in the UK. Much has been written about the direct and indirect psychological and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will exacerbate already existing problems. We think it’s important to start planning how to work with these longer-term impacts.


During the time when we have not been able to physically run our programmes, we have been working hard to support those we have worked with already. We have also been adapting our work and using our expertise to ensure we are ready to meet the challenges that will face many people when they emerge from lockdown. Public health experts predict that the worsening of mental health under current conditions will persist for years after the pandemic, while scientists around the world are calling for urgent research into the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on all aspects of societal wellbeing.


For these reasons we believe our work is more relevant and useful for an increasing number of people than ever before. We need your help in supporting more people to help themselves - to permanently exit support services and to become more active members of our community so that we can all create a better and more just, inclusive society for the future.


We have adapted some of our tools and approach in order to make our work accessible to a greater number of beneficiaries and to be able to offer a space for community and connection to our beneficiaries. This includes:


  • Piloting and launching a fortnightly podcast made by the FfC team on subjects that are relevant to emotional wellbeing and an understanding of the current situation. Themes vary from the personal (‘Understanding overwhelming emotions’; ‘Grief’…) to the broadly socio-political (‘What is meant by the “new normal”?’; ‘A history of psychiatry’…).
  • Each podcast is accompanied by a downloadable resource containing a summary of the material covered and suggested readings.
  • In addition to this we are offering three ‘seminar’ sessions spread across each fortnight in which former participants on FfC courses are able to come together to discuss and explore the themes in the podcast. These sessions are facilitated by FfC team members.
  • The final, fourth session each fortnight offers a more informal social space in which we intend to hold quizzes, skill-shares and “teach-ins” on a wide variety of subjects.
  • The seminars and social spaces allow our beneficiaries to keep in touch with the FfC team and each other face-to-face via Zoom and offer structured sessions where they can talk about their emotional responses in a safe environment.
  • In addition, Clothing for Change course participants have been meeting online once a week to share creative pieces (and NHS scrubs) they’ve been working on during lockdown and the Feminism for Change book club has resumed its meetings online.
  • To ensure the safety and confidentiality of participants, seminar/social online groups will be offered by invitation only, however all our podcasts and supporting material will be available online at: https://www.foundationforchange.org.uk/Pages/Category/making-sense-of-podcast from 1 June 2020.