We believe that any student with the capability and passion to become a doctor should be able to, irrespective of their background. Yet research shows that this is not the case today: a British Medical Association report called "The Right Mix" stated that less than 5% of medical students come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds and half of all schools across the UK do not produce a single medical applicant. In contrast, the top 20% of schools produce 80% of successful applicants.
Our approach to address this gap is a long-term intervention, supporting students throughout their educational journey (from building self-confidence and aspiration in year 9 to helping students secure medical work experience in year 11 or prepare for interviews in year 13). We run after-school programmes delivered by current medical students who provide living proof to students that medical school is achievable.
Those who have the aptitude and desire to study medicine, but who don’t come from traditionally the “right” background will be invited to participate in our programmes.
Our partner schools meet our target demographics, are committed to social mobility, and are within commuting distance of the university. Ideally they commit to facilitating our programmes for at least four years.
Medical schools that support a long-term approach to widening participation are key partners for us. We train Medic Ambassadors from each university to deliver the programmes to a high standard.
We improve social mobility and bring equity to young students while also transforming the NHS, with patients from all backgrounds receiving care from doctors they can relate to.
Our journey started in a cafe in Holborn, where Dan and Leanne shared their dreams of a programme that would help empower and inspire students to study medicine.
Our first programme
By 2017, we were ready to launch LAM, Leanne's Amazing Medics, a medic volunteer-run programme designed to equip, empower and inspire future medics from underrepresented backgrounds.
Award from the Queen!
Shortly after our launch Leanne accepted the Queen's Young Leader award from Her Majesty the Queen at a Buckingham Palace ceremony for our work as a charity.
In June 2018 we were finally ready to launch the charity, hosted at the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, with a keynote address from the Rt. Hon. Professor the Lord Kakkar.
Coverage on national news
Later that year Leanne represented The Armitage Foundation again when she was invited to speak to Channel 4 news about our work.
Hiring our first staff member
In early 2019 we received a major grant from comic relief, which enabled us to hire our first staff member, Adilla, as our Strategic Development Manager.
Facing COVID-19, but gaining momentum
Our pilots of our new programmes were cut short due to COVID-19 in March. However, with major support from The Funding Network and Garfield Weston we have ambitious growth plans!
Forming official partnerships!
In 2021, we formed new official partnerships with SGUL and KCL, delivering virtual programmes to 5 schools.