Our Founders

mdeducational foundation was set up aiming for a world in which every student has access to the wellbeing support they need, without delay

How it all started

mdeducational foundation began when our philanthropist founders, Miriam and Tarquin, encountered the big gap in wellbeing provisions for students aged 16-18 years old.

On identifying the struggles experienced by educational establishments, especially in supporting those nearing the adult age, they established the mdeducational foundation.

Years later, armed with industry connections, research, and data, mdeducational foundation was able to provide salary funding to its first school, enabling them to hire a Wellbeing Lead for their dedicated post-16 Wellbeing Hub. After just one year working within the pilot school, it was clear the scheme was a success, so we started on our mission to reach as many schools within the UK and Ireland as possible.

To date, mdeducational foundation and its team of staff and Wellbeing Leads have been an integral part of many wellbeing interventions. From providing immediate support (without wait times), to enabling a proactive and constant point for those in need. And our efforts continue…

Words from the founders of mdeducational foundation

Miriam Dervan, Co-founder at mdeducational foundation - headshot

mdeducational foundation was borne of the belief that young people need more than just an education at school.

I know what a difference external mental health support could have made to me. I suffered a lot from anxiety at school, which in hindsight made it very difficult for me to learn. Things my classmates would pick up quickly would take me twice as long. From the age of 4 to eighteen, I was always in the bottom class – ‘D’ – which I believed stood for ‘Dunces’. I found it upsetting and frustrating, but I also felt that I couldn’t vocalise it to my mother as I just didn’t have the words to know what to say.

When I look back at my school years, I know that if someone objective would have noticed me, talked to me, and given me techniques to deal with my anxiety, it would have set me on a brighter path. As it was, mental health was not a “thing” and instead I truly believed I was “stupid or thick”. In today’s schools, mental health is mercifully much higher up the agenda. But schools are under-resourced, and teachers are overstretched. Any government funding and grants towards mental health don’t go nearly far enough and are often swallowed up into the school system.

This is why we created mdeducational foundation. We wanted to provide funding to schools that directly impacts young people. It is my absolute passion. We are seeing a generation of young people coming out of the pandemic with more mental health challenges than ever, who need support now. We are delighted to be on this journey to brighten those futures in any way we can.”

Miriam Dervan, Co-Founder at mdeducational foundation

”When I was at school, there were no provisions at all for helping teenagers navigate the transition to adulthood, which is something I found very difficult to cope with.

We set up mdeducational foundation based on a desire to change the script for today’s young people, and to give something back to the local community. From my own experience, and as a parent now, I know this can make a huge difference. Our healthcare system works on the premise that young people are “fine”, right up until the point where they have a mental health crisis – and it’s only then that support services step in. We wanted to change that path, by offering much earlier intervention and support to stop young people ever getting to that crisis point in the first place.

The wonderful thing about working with schools is that we are de-stigmatising mental health for young people right from the start. By offering a safe space as well as an on-site wellbeing professional, we are sending the message that mental health is important for everyone, and access to support is there when you need it.

We look forward to working with the schools to integrate mental health into the very fabric of young people’s education.”

Tarquin Scadding-Hunt, Co-Founder at mdeducational foundation

Tarquin Scadding-Hunt, Co-founder at mdeducational foundation - headshot

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UK: +44 (0) 1273 254 130

IRE: +353 19 601 174

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Registered Charity (no. 1169208) in England and Wales.