A listener starts to listen to one of the A mile in my shoes audio stories
  • A Mile in My Shoes is a giant shoebox, a display of shoes, and a series of unique audio stories from people working in, and using, health and social care.
  • We invite you to step into someone else’s shoes and embark on a mile-long physical, emotional and imaginative journey to see the world through their eyes.
  • Re-imagined for digital audiences, you can now share in this immersive experience online.
  • Visit the site: listen.health.org.uk 

What is A Mile in My Shoes?

Empathy is often neatly summed up as ‘putting yourself in someone else’s shoes’. It’s something people working in health and social care services need to be able to do with the people in their care – thinking about a person’s situation, understanding their perspective and providing care that meets their needs. But how often do we empathise with the people providing health and social care?

In 2016, the Health Foundation teamed up with the Empathy Museum to develop a collection of stories from people working in, and using, health and social care in the UK. With each story that was shared, the individual donated a pair of their own shoes to be included in the A Mile in My Shoes collection.

An interactive shoe shop, A Mile in My Shoes invites you to step into someone else’s shoes and embark on a mile-long physical, emotional and imaginative journey to see the world through their eyes. This collection of stories showcases the remarkable contribution and challenges faced by those working in, and using, our health and social care system.

Audio recordings of more than 30 people working in, and using, health and social care are available – from a junior doctor to a hospital imam – and visitors are given a pair of shoes and an audio device to enable them to literally walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. The collection of audio recordings showcases a range of roles in the sector, including frontline jobs like pharmacist, GP and paramedic, to some less visible positions such as finance manager, HR manager and porter.

It also gives insight into the remarkable contribution and sheer diversity of people and positions that contribute towards the nation’s health and health care – from a prison psychiatrist, to a carer to a cardiac physiologist.

You can use the audio player below to listen to snippets of some of the stories.

Why is this important?

Every person has a story.

In the busy and challenging health and social care environment, we sometimes fail to look beyond the role and see the people delivering care every day.  We believe storytelling is a powerful way to learn, understand, share and connect with each other.

By sharing these thirty-five stories, we hope to encourage greater understanding and empathy across society for people involved in the NHS and social care, while showcasing their extraordinary contribution and the difference they make to all our lives across the UK.

In the A mile in my shoes exhibition shoe box a man selects a pair of women's high healed shoes

Hear others' experience about the exhibit

A Mile In My Shoes on the road

The exhibit debuted in June 2016 at the NHS Confederation annual conference in England. Since then we’ve taken it out and about – from the Houses of Parliament to NHS events. At all events people took part enthusiastically, and told us how inspiring and moving they found the experience.

Having a presence at these health sector events presents opportunities for leaders and decision makers to walk in someone else’s shoes while listening to their story, as well as showing their support for a creative initiative that puts the spotlight on people working in our unique health and social care system. 

In 2017 we will be taking the exhibition to:

A Polaroid of someone having completed the A Mile in My Shoes experience

Comments

George Dellal



This is great. As part of Cincinnati Children's design efforts to create Learning Networks we developed design cards and exercises aimed at building empathy between clinicians, patients and families. They are available at: http://walkamilecards.com/



Add new comment

* indicates a required field

Your email address will not be published on the site and will only be used if we need to contact you about your comment.

View our comments policy