Boo Armstrong

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Biographical Information

Died in 2012, aged 37.

2Boo was born in 1974, her father Peter a BBC TV producer, her mother Kate a maths teacher. amed Rachel – she would later change to Boo by Deed Poll to her life-long nickname – grew up in Ealing... In her late teens she volunteered for the Lesbian and Gay Switchboard. At 19, she was appointed chairwoman of the charity. Boo became linked with Gay Pride, and helped establish the Mardi Gras. This was partly the reason she became interested in health policies: she had friends who had been diagnosed as HIV positive. Boo joined the Carol Street health centre Women and Health in the 1990s, working on the reception, and then turned her abilities to helping revamp the centre. She raised funds and employed architects to make it a green building. This would lead to her establishing GetWellUK, based in Delancey Street, which sought to integrate health options not available on the NHS into general use.

"She met her partner Trish Wassell while overseeing a pilot scheme in Northern Ireland to offer complementary health. GetWellUK won an award which was presented to Boo by Prince Charles: he saw her abil­ity and soon she was working as the CEO of his body, The Foundation for Integrated Health. The Prince, when he learned of her passing, praised her kind, compassionate character..." [1]

"Multi award-winning social entrepreneur Boo Armstrong, born in London in 1974, says that, "the thing that really gets me out of bed in the morning is justice and injustice". Much of her career so far has been masterminded from her canal boat in Regents Park. Highlights include:

  • six years as the director of Women & Health, an award-winning integrated health project in Camden, North London. During her tenure, Boo raised £400,000 from the National Lottery to renovate and refit the centre to the highest ecological standards, including solar panels, full disabled access and greywater recycling.
  • becoming the youngest-ever Chair of London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard at age 19
  • raising more than £1m for charity
  • developing a UK-wide knowledge management project for telephone help lines across the UK
  • being a member of the National Clinical Audit Advisory Group
  • featuring, alongside her canal boat, in a one-hour BBC documentary about Get Well UK's work in Northern Ireland
  • speaking at many public events, including the House of Commons (to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Integrated and Alternative Medicine), the Be The Change conference 2005, the General Osteopathic Council’s regional conferences, Futurebuilder’s learning conference and the School of Social Entrepreneurs
  • brokering contracts for complementary and alternative medicine to primary care trusts and social services
  • becoming a Women's Parliamentary Radio board member
  • featuring alongside 27 other pioneers in the book "Be The Change: Action and reflection from people transforming our world"
  • winning several awards and being a finalist in the 2004 Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards."[2]


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. camdennewjournal Prince Charles joins tributes to Boo Armstrong - community activist, football fan and healthcare volunteer, organizational web page, accessed June 20, 2013.
  2. getwelluk Boo Armstrong, organizational web page, accessed June 20, 2013.