I’d like to send you my thanks for the time you have taken so far in working with us on the Model Sanctuary. Regretfully, I’m writing to let you know that for reasons beyond my control, The Model Sanctuary will not be operating during the forthcoming London Fashion Week February 2012. This is due to a combination of last minute changes to contributions from sponsors and, despite an incredible response from a number of loyal and enthusiastic supporters, we have been unable to find an alternative venue after our home of the last few seasons; 8 Henrietta Street, became subject to a long-term lease. As these issues have come to light in the last few weeks I am left with no time to rectify the situation.
I founded The Model Sanctuary in 2008 with the emphasis of providing health guidance and educational support to the younger and most vulnerable members of our industry. As a non-for profit organisation, our aim was to honour the eleven recommendations of the Model Health Enquiry.
From small beginnings, The Model Sanctuary project has grown remarkably thanks to an expert team of nutritionists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, fitness instructors, psychologists and advisors who are wonderfully complemented by a truly inspirational group of volunteer art and fashion students together with a number of loyal sponsors and benefactors. For the past eight seasons this incredible and diverse group of people have come together to deliver an extraordinary project, empowering over 250 young people each day to tackle real health and well being issues. The impact thus far has been dramatic, inspirational and on occasions, life changing for participants and volunteers alike. The feedback we receive every season tells us that this project has become fundamentally important and even crucial to the community we seek to serve. From these experiences, it is clear to me the Model Health Enquiry’s recommendations are still valid today.
As I look forward, I have come to the conclusion that for The Model Sanctuary to continue successfully, the project requires and in fact deserves, the certainty of established premises for the period of each London Fashion Week. To maintain our momentum whilst running The Model Sanctuary from temporary or pop-up venues has become unsustainable and ultimately places the initiative under threat.I urge the fashion industry, it’s partners and key stakeholders to help us secure a permanent home during London Fashion Week so we can continue our valuable work. It is absolutely vital that we prioritise the welfare of young people within our industry and without this assistance I will be forced to close The Model Sanctuary permanently. I hope to hear from you all and I welcome your thoughts and suggestions on how we may re-open our doors in September.