Footwear Friends, the footwear charity founded in 1836 as the Benevolent Society of Master Boot and Shoemakers, has rebranded to help it continue to reach and help those in need within the footwear community.

At the centre of this is a new name – the Footwear Industry Trust. A return to a more traditional name, it aims to reflect the charity’s long history, like a modern version of the Boot Trade Benevolent Society, the name it went by for almost the whole of the 20th Century.

The new logo includes a new tag line, The Charity for the Footwear Trade, a reminder that this a charity by the trade, for the trade.

The Footwear Industry Trust (FIT) is passionate not only about helping those in need, but also about reaching out and reconnecting footwear professionals with their peers. Despite all the upheavals that have taken place over the decades, FIT believes that the industry it serves and the people in it belong to a family.

By enlisting the help of employers, FIT wants to reach directly into the workplace and re-forge those connections between people in the footwear community. Connections that benefit both those who are in a position to help – to organise an event or to donate their time or money – and those in their community who are in need. The FIT said it believes these connections create the community we share.

Commenting on the rebrand, Chairman, David Lockyer, said: “During its long history, the charity has helped many thousands of individuals who have often given a lifetime of service to the footwear industry, but now find they need help – which FIT provides both through one-off grants and regular annuity payments.

“With this new identity and a renewed sense of community, we intend to help even more people and families for many years to come.”

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