Photo of Charlotte Armitage

Charlotte Armitage

Charlotte Armitage, CEO of YAFTA, has been nominated by Victoria Clapham of Bevic Marketing Services. Victoria says “Charlotte Armitage is the Managing Director of the Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting. Her mother is a Muslim Trinidadian, her father a Christian white Yorkshireman and Charlotte also grew up with a severely disabled older brother.

Through her work she has used her experiences to advocate and actively promote inclusion and fair representation in the film and TV industry.

Charlotte’s passion around mental health and duty of care within the industry is also a key driver behind her work, and the development of the YAFTA consultancy. She has established herself over the last year as ‘The Media Psychologist’, supporting and advising production companies with her unique experience and skill set in the sector. Charlotte is a qualified psychologist and is undertaking a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.”

Who has she helped?

“Charlotte helps under-represented groups/individuals who feel the media industry is not accessible to them or feel limited in what they can achieve. She also supports production companies that are looking to improve their duty of care provision.”

What’s worked?

“Throughout this last year, Charlotte has continued her pursuing her passion through launching the You Can scholarship, establishing the inaugural Disability in the Media event, leading on the call for production companies to have a disability champion and being visible across multiple media outlets to reaffirm this message.

Charlotte was also awarded the IoD’s Yorkshire and North East Director of Inclusivity Award this year for her work.

Charlotte has also been one of four psychologists who have provided input into Ofcom’s new broadcast guidance around duty of care. She is a member of the British Psychological Society’s Media Ethics Advisory Board.”

What has she learnt? Any challenges?

“There is still lots to do in terms of truly breaking down barriers and engaging the people who are in a significant place of influence – from the writers, producers and commissioner’s perspective. It’s also vital that whilst we champion and call for more people with disabilities to be engaged and represented in the creative sector, there is the talent pool there. We want people to take up training, getting involved in scholarships, events, mentoring schemes etc.

In terms of mental health and duty of care provision, it’s a case of breaking that down so people within the industry understand the implications pre, during and post production. It’s also about looking at the industry in terms of duty of care for both on-screen and off-screen talent.”

What’s next?

“Charlotte plans to launch the You Can Scholarship again (a competition for over 16s aimed at those from underrepresented and minority groups, to win a scholarship worth nearly £8,000 on one of YAFTA’s diploma programmes).

She will set up further collaborative partnerships with key groups such as Oska Bright Film Festival by Carousel. Carousel is an arts charity that helps learning disabled artists develop and manage their creative lives.

Charlotte will also create a bigger event around Disability in the Media building on this year’s event, attracting further contributors and also demonstrable action. She also plans to host workshops and events around duty of care and psychological support.”

What advice, contacts or resources would help you?

“We are always looking for volunteers to help us continue our work. Volunteers are a massive part of our work, taking part in surveying, making films and analysing data. We want them to really make the most of using their skills and knowledge.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

An individual or organisation from each of our five categories will be recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November, but we want to publish all relevant stories to spread awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North!