Funded Travelling Fellowships to support Community Based Approaches to Mental Health

Published: 10 May 2016

Funded Travelling Fellowships to support Community Based Approaches to Mental Health

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.

Travelling Fellowships will be awarded in the Mental Health - community based approaches category, and the application process is now open.

Given that 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 241, it is clear that issues around mental health need to be urgently addressed.

For the second year, the Mental Health Fellowships will run in a partnership with The Mental Health Foundation. Since the start of this partnership, 21 Fellowships have been awarded in this category, an investment of over £125,000 in British citizens.

People involved in delivering community based treatment and support, including training and awareness for those in education and youth organisations, those working with veterans and their families, and people providing support in the work place, are also encouraged to apply.

Mark Bolt is an operational police officer who has studied the interface between criminal justice and mental health. In 2013 he travelled to the USA for six weeks to experience first-hand models that US Law enforcement agencies have adopted when dealing with those in mental health crises, and how the police and courts alter the criminal justice pathways of offenders with mental health needs. In Chicago he learned about the Crisis Intervention Team model whereby 40% of frontline staff undergo enhanced training to enable them to de-escalate situations and deal effectively with the individual -minimising harm to officers as well as offenders. In Baltimore County, he witnessed the Mobile Crisis Team model both in the classroom with trainees and then out on patrol attending various incidents involving individuals in mental health crises. He was also able to study the support offered in jail. Mark has been instrumental on his return in developing and delivering a ‘mental health for frontline officers’ training package. He is also the lead for the Liaison and Diversion project, whereby mental health clinicians have been integrated into the criminal justice process at the earliest stage.

Among those travelling this year, in this category, are:

  • Adele Owen, a police constable and mental health lead from Manchester. She will be travelling to Norway and the USA to investigate mental health peer support networks within the police force.
  • Patricia Jarrett, a research fellow in midwifery from Oxford, who will be going to the USA and Australia to research ways of reducing stigma in perinatal mental health.

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 Mental Health Foundation’s mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.

The Foundation’s work is focused on prevention, because the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. It informs and influences the development of evidence-based mental health policy at national and local government level. In tandem, the Foundation helps people to access information about the steps they can take to reduce their mental health risks and increase their resilience.

The Foundation aims to empower people to take action when problems are at an early stage, an outlook informed by its long history of working directly with people living with or at risk of developing mental health problems.

For further information about the Mental Health Foundation, visit 


1. From Mental Health Foundation website