When Corinne Hutton fell gravely ill with acute pneumonia and septicaemia in June 2013, surgeons were forced to amputate both her hands and her legs below the knee to save her life. While she was still recovering from her illness and going through rehabilitation, Corinne set up the charity Finding Your Feet to support families affected by amputation and limb difference. Finding Your Feet offers one to one and group support and funds activities including swimming, climbing, skiing, cycling, yoga, art and gardening. They also organise drop in sessions where the ‘Troopers’ can socialise and meet with experts including benefits advisors, prosthetists and massage therapists. Although the charity is based in Glasgow, they aim to help amputees to take part in activities and build support networks wherever they are in Scotland. For example, there is now a group of Troopers in Dundee who meet regularly for the Finding Your Feet Yoga club.
Corinne explains “Finding Your Feet tries to show people that they will be able to do things again, with a bit of support, encouragement and friendship. Amputation isn’t the end of the world. There’s not much that you can’t do. There is a time when an amputee feels very negative and down and they need support during this time. This is what the charity does but we need grants and volunteers to do it. YPI has helped with this.”
To date Finding Your Feet has received two YPI grants, the first from Paisley Grammar School in 2015 and the second from Gryffe High School in 2016. The grant from Paisley Grammar School has helped to fund a cycling club while the grant from Gryffe High has helped to fund a car to support Footpatrol, Finding Your Feet’s newest initiative. The car allows volunteers to visit people in hospital or in their homes to provide friendship, encouragement and practical help if they aren’t able or ready to join in with clubs yet. This new service is vital because these people often feel depressed and isolated and need the most support.
After supporting several YPI groups and attending YPI finals, Corinne is convinced about the benefits of YPI for students and charities. She believes that giving young people the opportunity to learn about the benefits of helping others and working with a charity is very important. Small charities fight hard for every penny that they raise, don’t have large expenditure and are often struggling to stay afloat and fund their services.
She continues, “YPI is a fantastic opportunity to teach them that other people aren’t as well off and that you get a really good feeling and pride from helping people. £3000 is a substantial amount of money. It would take us three or four coffee mornings to raise that.”