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Partnering with Universities to Build Brighter Futures

The Armitage Foundation’s model has been carefully designed to be sustainable in the long term. By working together with schools, universities and other organisations such as hospital trusts, foundations and corporations, we can help build an NHS of the future made up of people who accurately represent the society that they serve.

A valuable contribution to Widening Participation in medicine
Our programmes offer a valuable service to universities. Our sustained, long-term, tailored intervention helps to support aspirations and improve self-belief of students from a broad range of backgrounds, while equipping them with practical skills and knowledge to help them achieve their dreams. When creating our first formal university partnerships, it was critical that we chose universities as committed to widening participation as we are. We were, therefore, delighted that 2021 saw us confirming formal partnerships with King’s College, London and St George’s, University of London.

We are really pleased to be working with The Armitage Foundation this year and to have 12 of our Student Ambassadors work in local secondary schools delivering the sessions. Communication with The Armitage Foundation has always been really clear and we have always been able to work in a truly collaborative way. We are really excited to hear about the impact of the programme this academic year.

St George’s, University of London Widening Participation team

Recruiting Armitage Ambassadors
The opportunity to recruit Ambassadors who would be paid for their invaluable contribution was a very exciting one for us! While Leanne studied medicine at SGUL and our original volunteer Armitage Ambassadors were all SGUL alumni, these formalised partnerships mean that Ambassadors are now paid to deliver Armitage Juniors as part of the university’s Ambassador scheme. This not only adds to the sustainability of the programmes, but helps us to support medical students while they are studying.
We were delighted at the interest shown in becoming Ambassadors and February saw us training 17 Armitage Ambassadors in preparation for our launch.

Launching Armitage Juniors
Following delays as a result of school closures, in February 2021 we were finally able to launch Armitage Juniors. Throughout this academic year, 6 sessions will be delivered to 50 year eight students in five London schools, each of which has been selected because they meet criteria agreed by the partner universities and The Armitage Foundation.

All being well, we expect to deliver the second year of Armitage Juniors to the same students in a school setting. This will give students the opportunity to take a more hands-on approach.

Measuring impact
This year so far, we have worked with 17 Ambassadors and ten teachers and, thus far, have delivered 30 hours of online programmes to 50 students.

University partnerships have enabled us to reach 50 students this year.

We are continuing to monitor and evaluate our programmes, both on a programme-by-programme basis to ensure that each session is of the highest quality, as well as via baseline and annual evaluations and focus groups. While it is a little too early to measure the lasting overall impact of the programme, feedback has been incredibly encouraging and we will continue to evaluate and adapt our programmes for maximum impact.

Planned growth
As a result of funding from a hospital trust, The Armitage Foundation, in partnership with King’s College, London, aims to launch Armitage Juniors, delivered remotely with some face-to-face interaction, in two schools in Medway. We also aim to create further partnerships with universities across the UK to enable us to bridge the gap inspiring and equipping students from all backgrounds to study medicine.

Universities interested in finding out more about partnering with The Armitage Foundation can email [email protected].