Foot in the Door: Monday Blog

12th February 2018 at 17:15


As Foot In The Door begins for its 2018 edition, it strikes me that there is a simple reason why running this programme (and other similar initiatives) is my favourite job.

We spend rather a lot of our time at the start of our lives being part of carefully conceived systems and institutions and handing over significant portions of our development to other people. As soon as school age hits, until we leave formal education, we rely on being part of group to form ourselves, our personalities, our opinions.

There is a debate to be had on the quality of those institutions, or the barriers we may face in accessing them, however, if you will allow me a kind of romanticism for a few minutes… For many of us, school remains our primary experience of ‘community’ – if not the only one – outside of our own family circle. I’d like to think that in the best of cases, our learning is shaped by being together and that being part of group has a profound impact on who we become.

Then, as we leave school or university, for many of us, this is where being part of a larger, interdependent social group just ends. How many times have you attempted to organise a simple dinner gathering with a few friends and been held back with whatever life puts in the way?
I don’t think that my experience is that unusual. Most of the time, I largely interact with people on a one to one basis, in a carefully timed and planned way – and almost always in a professional settings. For me, long gone are the days of going through something as a group, with all the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Beyond any of the planned activity, or the outcomes that may be presented at the showcase, Foot In the Door is first and foremost a group of people, who for slightly longer than usual (in the context of our adult lives) are together, with and for each other. It’s a context for relationships to be built upon.

I hope that they, we, you can carry them forward in one way or another.

Leo Burtin
Creative Development Producer (Associate)