During the COVID-19 pandemic, many OMs have played a significant part in contributing to society and we would like to celebrate these achievements and spread some positivity.
Aimee Strongman (1997-1999; MPS/1999-2004; Abbey) aimed to support pregnant women in their journey into motherhood, offering guidance and support. In April of 2020, she set up a business offering free weekly yoga sessions for NHS workers, key workers, and teachers, on top of taking care of her own two young children. Aimee had a brilliant response with over 200 people signing up, averaging 50 attendees each week.
OM of the Year 2015 and award-winning West End Choreographer, Andrew Wright (1986-1987; MPS/1987-1991; Day), mounted a production in Glastonbury Abbey for the community last August to provide much-needed entertainment. He has also been a key worker for Morrison’s delivering food to vulnerable people.
Many retired NHS workers have given up their time and returned to work during the pandemic to contribute to the effort on the front lines. Georgina Wingfield (1968-1970; Holmcroft) is one of these selfless individuals. She came out of semi-retirement and is currently working full-time for the NHS Test and Trace Programme as a Clinical Caseworker. As well as this, she cooked meals for a fellow OM in her village who was struggling to manage.
Another former OM of the Year 2013, who has contributed significantly to society during the pandemic, is footballer and founder of international football charity, ‘Coaches Across Continents’, Nick Gates (1983-1985; Day). Nick’s award-winning charity works with education and community development and has designed two curriculums for Nike and the Commonwealth to help them educate young people in need of recreational sport and enjoyment.
Alice Kelly (1996-1998; MPS/1998-2003; Day) helped the NHS by providing much-needed ventilators. Alice is a Logistics Hub Lead at a company called PA Consulting, and she and her colleagues worked with the Cabinet Office on the Ventilator Challenge in 2020 to expedite the transit of urgent ventilator parts from all around the world to Ventilator Manufacturers in the UK. This involved working 7 days a week for several months. Alice describes this experience as a “massively successful project and I'm proud to have been a part of it!”
Carlotta Paulus (2002-2004; Warner) joined a project linked with the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust in April 2020. Carlotta, and a group of volunteers, cut and sewed around 50,000 protective gowns out of theatre sheet fabric to help the NHS frontline staff who were low on PPE. The project was such a success that a second one in Hampstead Heath opened its doors shortly after!
Finally, Andrew Montague (1993-1996; Ivythorn), is a Physiotherapist for the RAF and was initially furloughed from the military. During his time on furlough, he worked for the NHS as a Community Physio to help people with long COVID. He has now returned to support the military supplementing of the NHS to provide mass vaccination.
Thank you to all of these OMs for letting us know about the ways you have contributed during the pandemic. If anybody else has a story they would like to share, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Aimee Strongman offering yoga sessions to key workers!