In 1988 I was first asked by Tearfund to spend a few hours a week editing the newsletter Footsteps to Health. At the time it had a distribution of about 1,000 English readers. Now, nearly 20 years later, Footsteps is widely known around the world with a distribution of 48,000 printed issues in seven language versions. We had a further 113,000 people downloading issues from the tilz website last year and over 615,000 hits from both tilz and the Chinese web version. We now also have a new electronic version to distribute as well.
The interaction with Footsteps readers over the years has been of huge personal significance. I am always thrilled by news of readers who have taken information from articles and put this into practice to improve either their own or other people’s situations. The way in which readers use such information challenged me to carry out research into effective communication which led to the PILLARS process of sharing information through participatory group discussion.
I am leaving Tearfund to concentrate on raising awareness of climate change and the need to change our lifestyles in order to protect the future of our precious but fragile world.
A big thanks to all readers for your interest and support over the years. Also special thanks to our committee members, translators, designers, illustrator, printers and all the staff at Tearfund who have worked with me on producing Footsteps and made it such an enjoyable time. Footsteps will continue in the safe hands of our sub editors Rachel and Maggie.