Josie Armitage has been nominated by fellow IWC member Minoti Parikh. Minoti says “I am proud to nominate Josie. The thing that always stands out for me when I think of Josie is her sincere intent and genuine commitment to be of help to all. She always manages to give herself less credit than she deserves and her answers to this nomination may just be a testament to that!
Her commitment to IWC is also a great example of her passion to encourage and applaud women who are doing great work. That, to me, is a true example of a great changemaker. She has never strived to be in the limelight or felt the need to be recognised. I feel this award will help her understand her own true worth, the change she is facilitating, and the ripple effect her work has on so many people.”
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Who has she helped/who will she help?
Minoti says “Along with helping innumerable communities and organisations by helping them through her professional skills, Josie also volunteers her time and skills to help people within communities, not just during this pandemic but before then too.
Women like Josie, who silently contribute to uplifting other women and the less fortunate definitely need to be recognised a lot more. I can’t think of a better platform than these awards that will do her work justice.”
Josie says “I started my own business Josie Armitage Associates nearly four years ago after a redundancy. I have slowly developed my business to support charities, community organisations, and social enterprises with their fundraising, sourcing relevant funding opportunities, writing funding applications and providing advice and support.
For the last two years before Covid-19, I ran my business part-time while also working part-time for Sport Works Yorkshire, securing funding and managing contracts to develop and grow the adult skills provision for unemployed and disadvantaged adults across West and South Yorkshire.
I was made redundant at the end of October and this has given me the kick I need to go fully self-employed. Due to the groundwork I had put in previously in making contacts and connections, I was approached by social enterprises and charities through LinkedIn or via recommendations from contacts and quickly established a small number of regular customers.
I have been supporting senior leaders of not-for-profit organisations to source funding opportunities and writing funding applications so they can access the income they need to fulfill their missions.
This has included supporting a charity to access the funding they need to survive during Covid-19 so they can support South Asian women to access advice and support in relation to benefits, housing, and debt management; supporting a social enterprise to access funding so they can help children and young people to recognise their value and talents and improve their confidence; and supporting a social enterprise to provide mental health therapy sessions for young people suffering from a range of challenges intensified by Covid-19.”
What have you learned? Any challenges?
“This year has been a catalyst for me to move towards running my business full time. From April to October this year, I was furloughed. Not being someone who can do nothing, I began to focus more on developing my business and enjoying helping people and having time to think about how I want the business to develop.
I love helping people and it’s so rewarding when a funding application is successful and I know that I have been part of something that will benefit people. I like to work with people and organisations whose work and aspirations I value, work with them longer-term so I can build a trusted relationship with them, and take time to fully understand them and their organisations.
I’ve been described as a ‘lifeline’ by one client and ‘an integral part of the team’ by another. I feel lucky to be doing something I love and having a support network of people who recommend me to people looking for information and support with grant funding.
I have also had the privilege of being in a position to support some organisations on a pro bono basis, including a Bradford-based charity that supports homeless and vulnerable people.”
“I have learned that I need to value myself and my talents much more. It has been both rewarding and an eye-opener to hear the positive things people have said to me this year.
Ironically, I have never seen myself as a ‘people’ person but find that the people I work with and potential customers I am introduced to, warm to me very easily and trust me to help them.”
What advice, contacts, or resources would help you?
“I need to focus on some of the more ‘business’ elements of my business including developing a website, refining my social media, and packaging my services as products.”
Why we’re sharing these stories
Each year, an individual or organisation from each of our five categories plus one exceptional judges’ choice individual is recognised at our annual Igniting Inspiration celebration event.
We publish each and every nomination to raise awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North. While, this year, our physical event had to be deferred, our campaign to spread stories of positive social impact continues – good news is needed!