Mitcham resident set for once in a lifetime overseas medical placement

Published on 27/04/2023

An aspiring Mitcham doctor is set for a once in a lifetime opportunity to study medicine in Cairo, Egypt, after receiving funding from one of L&Q’s Major Works Investment Programme partners, Axis Europe.

In 2017, Ingrid Bekono, an L&Q resident living in South West London, was awarded one of the L&Q Foundation’s Turlogh O’Brien scholarships – a programme which gives young people living in financially excluded households an accessible route into higher education.

Alongside regular contact from L&Q, she received three annual £5,000 contributions towards her degree, a Bachelor of Medicine, and a Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. 

Upon entering her final year, she had an opportunity to take part in an international placement abroad. Axis Europe, one of L&Q’s Major Works Investment Programme partners, agreed to provide the full cost of £2,000 to cover this trip and support Ingrid fulfil the last leg of her medical journey. 

Axis Europe is a property services partner delivering part of L&Q’s Major Works Investment Programme, a 15-year project which is seeing the organisation invest almost £3bn to improve the safety, quality and environmental performance of its residents’ homes.

As part of the programme, it is committed to making a lasting social impact by supporting L&Q residents and their communities.


Image of Ingrid Bekono

Ingrid said:

“Now I have received this funding, I hope to gain insight into healthcare in other parts of the world and further improve my clinical skills and knowledge so that I can become a better clinician.”

When asked what her aspirations are for the future, Ingrid, comments:

“I hope to become an ophthalmologist one day. For me, it’s the perfect balance of medicine and surgery, and being able to improve someone’s quality of life by providing them with good eye care is so fulfilling.

"One day, I'd also like to use my training to help those in lower-resourced countries who unfortunately may not have access to adequate eye care and often fall victim to easily reversible causes of blindness.

“I grew up in a single-parent household in South London. Growing up I didn't see many people with aspirations like my own. To that end, it sometimes felt as if those very aspirations weren’t achievable for people like me. Today, I'm pleased to see black and minority ethnic groups beginning to excel in many important fields.

"I am grateful for all the excellent teachers I've had along the way; L&Q and the various other programmes that have supported me; and my personal and academic mentors for their encouragement.”

Mark Newstead, Director of Major Programmes at L&Q adds:

“We know Ingrid will go on to achieve great things and are proud to have supported her educational journey towards becoming a doctor since 2017.

"We’ve partnered with some fantastic, like-minded firms to deliver the industry’s largest housing investment programme, all of whom share our mission to create social value in the communities we serve.

"We’d like to extend a big thank you to Axis Europe for stepping in to support Ingrid take on this exciting next step overseas.”

Joe Ibrahim, MD, Projects at Axis Europe said:

“Axis is proud to help Ingrid take part in her international placement which is part of her Medicine degree.

“As well as keeping homes safe and comfortable for L&Q residents, we, along with L&Q, firmly believe in additionally supporting residents in ways that leave a lasting legacy.

"We were delighted when we were invited to be part of this exciting programme and wish Ingrid all the best for her travels now, and her future career in Medicine."