At The Armitage Foundation, we are no strangers to challenges; after all, our charity was created to help people overcome the challenges that they face in pursuing their ambition of studying medicine. However, a global pandemic is a challenge that we, like most of the rest of the world, didn’t ever expect to see. And we certainly never imagined that Leanne and her cohort of medical students would be joining an NHS in crisis!
This academic year was an exciting one for us; aside from it being Leanne’s final year at University, it was the last year that Leanne’s Amazing Medics would be run in two London schools, and we were excited to launch the pilot of Armitage Juniors and Armitage Seniors in a third London school. These programmes were prematurely cut short when schools were closed in March 2020 and due to online safeguarding issues, we are currently yet to find a satisfactory way to provide the programme participants with ongoing support this year.
But, we are not disheartened! The Armitage Foundation has been on a tremendous journey over the past couple of years and it has been challenging to keep up with the events, awards and media coverage that our work, and Leanne’s achievements, have attracted. We are, therefore, going to do something that we promote in our programmes: we are taking a negative situation and turning it into a positive. This period will enable us to focus on The Armitage Foundation on a larger, strategic level. We plan to spend the next few weeks working on:
- Programme development – while our talented and committed Armitage Ambassadors are relatively free of study commitments, led by Leanne, they will be perfecting the full pilot programmes so that they are ready for the restart of the pilots.
- Building relationships – thus far, The Armitage Foundation’s partnerships have developed organically. In order to move on, we will be seeking to develop partnerships with mentors, universities and funding organisations to take us to the next level.
- Marketing – we will make the most of any down time with some website and marketing development so that as many people as possible will find out about The Armitage Foundation, who we are, and what we do.
- Fundraising – once our pilot programmes are complete, we are confident that our programme funding will be sustainable. Until then, we are in need of funds to take us through these unexpected time. So, we will place a major focus on fundraising from trusts and individuals. If you are an individual and would like to make a regular monthly donation, please click here. If you are connected to a trust or foundation and you could help – please get in touch.
As soon as we know more about when universities and schools will resume some form of normality, we will be seeking to recruit and train a new team of Armitage Ambassadors, as well as welcoming existing Ambassadors back for another year. We will restart the final programmes of Leanne’s Amazing Medics and relaunch our pilots bigger and better than ever!
These are challenging times for us as an organisation but we are confident that we can use this time to our advantage, and, with the support of our new board of trustees, develop funding and strategy for a sustainable future. If you would like to support us on this journey, we’d love to hear from you!