You are here:

About us

Published on


Finely and his father with glasses and a gray sweater hugs his young son with blond, tousled hair, who is smiling and wearing a navy blue sweater.

About Action Medical Research

We are the leading UK-wide charity dedicated to funding vital research to help sick and disabled babies, children and young people

Funding breakthroughs

Action Medical Research has been funding medical breakthroughs for over 70 years.

We have helped to beat polio, fight meningitis, prevent stillbirths and develop ultrasound scanning in pregnancy, helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.

Today we continue to tackle the challenges disease and disability present by funding high quality research to save and change children’s lives, including research to help children affected by COVID-19 and long COVID.

Our Research

Surprisingly, medical research tackling childhood diseases is poorly funded in the UK. Action Medical Research has a critical job to do in helping fill this gap to protect children.

The prospects for finding new cures and treatments is almost within our grasp. Right now we are funding vital research projects with many more ready to go – but we simply can’t fund them all.

With your help, we’re determined to change this and make a real difference to children's lives.

Historcal photo of the very first Action hospital for children

Our History

The charity was founded in 1952 by Duncan Guthrie in his quest to find a cure for polio, a condition that affected the lives of many thousands of children including his own daughter, Janet.

Early research funded by the charity helped to develop the first oral polio vaccine which eradicated new cases of the disease in the UK.

Since then we’ve continued to fund vital research projects to save and change lives through medical research.

Davina McCall sat on stall with a white background

I've been involved with Action since I was nine years old. It's a brilliant cause to support, such amazing work!

Davina McCall

Action in Numbers

We are funding over 50 top quality projects, including Research Training Fellowships, at leading hospitals, universities and specialist centres across the UK.

Currently funded projects include research into asthma, prematurity, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, COVID-19 and long COVID, leukaemia and some rare and distressing conditions.

Family with 2 children

70+ years

Celebrating 70+ years of saving and changing lives


260+ researchers

Supporting more than 260 top researchers

Piggy bank

£300 Funding

£300 can fund a pioneering research project for a day

UK Map

50+ projects

Over 50 projects across the UK



Many of the research projects we support involve working directly with patients who have been affected by a disease or disability.

About our research

We fund high quality research to save and change children's lives.

Life saving research

Life saving research

We fund groundbreaking research to help find answers. Answers that can lead to vaccinations, treatments and cures. Answers that save lives.

Breakthrough discoveries

Breakthrough discoveries

For over 70 years we've been saving and changing lives through medical research and have spent over £131m funding some amazing breakthroughs.

Working across the UK

Working across the UK

We have around £10m invested in the work of more than 260 top researchers working on around over 50 projects across the UK


Support our vital research

We would love to send you information about our research and how you can help us to save and change children’s lives through fundraising, events and volunteering opportunities.