Funded Travelling Fellowships for Migration –Living well together

Published: 13 May 2016

Funded Travelling Fellowships for Migration –Living well together

In 2017, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will be investing around £1.3 million in British citizens, by awarding 150 Travelling Fellowships.

This will directly support British citizens who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities, and society as a whole.

This year, Travelling Fellowships will be awarded in a new category entitled Migration –Living well together. The application process is now open, and people involved in projects focused on strengthening social cohesion and communication, tackling isolation and supporting community engagement are encouraged to apply.

2015 saw over 360,000 first time applicants for asylum in the EU from Syria alone1. With Europe in the grip of a migrant crisis which shows no signs of abating, there is an urgent need for new approaches and practices in this area.

Fellowships in this category will run as part of a partnership with the Linbury Trust, for the first year of a three year programme.

Examples of previous Fellowships

Zrinka Bralo was a journalist in Bosnia. When war broke out, she coordinated international media coverage from Sarajevo, working with some of the world's leading war correspondents. She later sought asylum in the UK, though she was only granted the right to stay after fighting deportation for three years. Zrinka is now the Chief Executive of Migrants Organise, a platform providing support to migrant and refugee communities. In 2014, she travelled to the USA to learn about community organising of migrant communities and how they make links with other civil society groups. Since returning to the UK, Zrinka has changed the focus of Migrants Organise’s work so that it places greater emphasis on advocacy and community organising. As a result, they have trained 22 new community leaders, whose efforts prior to the 2015 general election led to the registration of 5,000 new voters. Since her Fellowship, Zrinka has also become the Executive Chair of the National Refugee Welcome Board, which was set up to coordinate the civil society response to the refugee crisis.

Lucy Slade has previously worked as a resettlement mentor manager in London prisons. She also has experience of working in prisons as a volunteer. At Lucy's local prison, HMP Wandsworth, around half of the prison’s 1,600 men are foreign, representing over 70 different countries. Because of language and cultural differences, these men are often isolated and less likely to be able to access rehabilitation activities. In 2015, Lucy travelled to the Netherlands, Spain, Norway and Sweden, to discover whether other countries could offer an alternative approach to working with foreign prisoners. Lucy witnessed many promising practices, including Skype and video conferencing to help detainees stay in contact with their families, and a new pointing dictionary providing a practical and inexpensive way of overcoming language barriers. Lucy has shared her findings with staff and volunteers at HMP Wandsworth and gave a presentation about her Fellowship to an audience in London. She hopes her Fellowship will also be a catalyst for greater cooperation between countries.

Successful applicants must demonstrate the commitment, the character and the tenacity to travel globally in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of current challenges facing the UK, and upon their return work to transform and improve aspects of today’s society.

A travelling sabbatical for people with the drive, determination and desire to help others, can further their leadership and role model abilities.

Employees who are awarded Fellowships bring great benefits to their employers, not only in terms of the positive impact on their personal development, but also with the advantage of their enhanced knowledge, new ideas and examples of best practice that they bring back to the organisation.

Applications are judged purely on project merit, and these opportunities are available to all UK residents over the age of 18, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6,000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being visited, for approximately six weeks overseas.

Notes to Editors

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established shortly after Sir Winston’s death in 1965, as his national memorial and living legacy. Since then it has awarded over 5,250 Travelling Fellowships.

The application process for travel in 2017 is now open, and there are 14 varied categories in which people can apply.

Churchill’s beliefs and passions are still living on through the Fellows – who are remarkable individuals, representing a wide range of backgrounds, qualifications, interests and professions, but sharing the desire to do something for the improvement of individuals and communities in the UK.

The deadline for the 2017 applications is 5pm on Tuesday 20th September 2016.

In total 150 Fellowships were awarded in the UK in 2016, an investment of over £1.4 million. The Fellows are currently travelling to 52 countries between them, across 6 continents, carrying out a wide range of projects.

To maximise the impact of the Fellowships partnerships have been developed with other organisations, focused on specific areas of concern and relevance for the UK today. Lessons learnt from overseas travel are effectively coordinated and disseminated, and incorporated into best practice in the UK for the benefit of others in similar communities and professions.

The Linbury Trust was founded in 1973, since when it has made grants totalling more than £100 million. The trustees of the Linbury Trust make grants to organisations and towards causes across a broad range of categories, including the arts, education, environment and heritage, medical, social welfare and developing countries.

REFERENCES

1. From Eurostat http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Asylum_statistics