The Pathway to Healthcare programme is a tailor-made learning and development project which supports young people to get ready for and apply for medical school or other healthcare programmes.

The WickesAid donation to Aston University is part of a total charitable gift of £355,000, which has been divided up between a number of charities, including Women Acting in Today’s Society, Sense, Performances Birmingham Ltd and The Princes Trust, to support activity they have within Birmingham and beyond.

A cheque for £140,000 was formally presented to Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alec Cameron by Keith Stokes-Smith, Chairman of WickesAid at Aston University.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alec Cameron said:

"This is a very generous donation from Wickes Aid and I am delighted the charity has chosen to contribute to the important work that the Sir Doug Ellis Pathway to Healthcare programme is doing.

“Such significant gifts allow us to continue to reach students with great potential, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to study medicine. This is a key facet of our mission, both within the Medical School and Aston more widely, and we are very grateful to have such wonderful support."

Students selected to go onto the Pathway to Healthcare programme participate in medical taster days, workshops and research projects. They also receive guidance and support through the application process for University.

WickesAid Chairman Keith Stokes-Smith added:

"Our Trustees recognise the importance of the programme's aim which is to train the next generation of doctors to improve the health outcomes in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, where we have both some of the poorest health indicators in England and a significant shortage of doctors. We do hope other charities will follow in our footsteps to ensure the programme continues for many years to come."