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Leanne Armitage honoured with Queen's Young Leaders award

Published: 02 July 2018

Third-year medicine student, Leanne Armitage, was honoured with a Queen’s Young Leaders award for her scheme that inspires and supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a career in medicine, Leanne’s Amazing Medics (LAM).

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calendar-icon 2 July 2018

calendar-icon 2 July 2018
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The Queen’s Young Leader Awards, now in its fourth and final year, recognises exceptional people aged 18 to 29 across the Commonwealth, who are using their skills to transform the lives of others and lead in their communities. Leanne joined well-known faces, including David Beckham, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at the ceremony at Buckingham Palace which took place Tuesday evening (26 June 2018), where she was presented with the award by Her Majesty, the Queen.

Queen’s Young Leader AwardsLeanne

She said: “I had an absolutely magical evening at Buckingham Palace.

“Before the ceremony they played a film showing some of us including me. When I met the Queen later she initially asked me what it was that I was doing, then recognised me from the video! She had a lovely smile.

“I met both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and they remembered me from a previous meeting at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

“In our society, when so many people are famous for being celebrities, to be supported for trying to bring social change really means a lot.”

LAM is designed to inspire and equip students from under-represented backgrounds, for example, students who come from low-socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnic minorities, who want to study medicine.

Her programme focuses on providing students with mentorship as well as giving them the guidance and skills to help them succeed in the goal of applying to medical school.

In his speech, the Duke of Sussex said: "You are the hope and optimisim that the world needs and we will do everything that we can to support you in it."

Leanne studied at a secondary school where she saw only one person given a medical offer during the five years she was there.

None of her family members are medics, and she grew up on a single parent home on a council estate in Peckham. As a result, Leanne didn’t have the guidance that students with families with a medical background typically might have.

She said: “It was an amazing evening. It was so special and I would never have imagined that something like that would happen at the age of 23. It just shows, your background doesn’t have to limit your aspirations. If you stay focused and persevere, you can reach your goals.”

Queen’s Young Leader Award winners receive training, networking opportunities and mentoring, and with this support package, the winners are encouraged to continue and develop the inspirational work they are doing in their communities.

If you would like to be a part of Leanne’s Amazing Medics you can contact her here.

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