Dr Andrew Rowland's Story
Andrew's Fellowship investigated the impact of mandatory reporting of child abuse, the work of children’s advocacy centres and learned about strategies used to identify children at risk of child sexual exploitation and trafficking. He used his international experiences to make recommendations for the UK and the international community.
Andrew's Fellowship journey took him to Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Cambodia. It was whilst undertaking a mobile health clinic beside a railway line in Sihanoukville, Cambodia that he was inspired to give his report the title Living on a Railway Line. He flew 35,043 miles, spent 10 weeks away from home, and visited nine cities in five different countries - meeting an outstanding group of enthusiastic and dedicated child protection specialists from around the world.
Living on a Railway Line is a comprehensive publication making 10 key recommendations and 25 enabling recommendations for the UK, with seven associated international recommendations.
Little did Andrew know when he planned his Fellowship travels that his propositions for legislative change would be fed into a government consultation on mandatory reporting of abuse, announced just a week after his report was finalised.
Andrew’s recommendations surrounding professional education about child abuse and neglect have resulted in him hosting events, aimed at empowering front-line practitioners to make a small change in their own practice, the collective amalgamation of which he hopes will result in better identification of children at risk of child sexual exploitation.
The importance of advocating on behalf of children, which Andrew highlighted in his report, has also brought about the piloting of a child abuse awareness week, and has enabled Andrew to push for children's involvement in the design and development of services locally, nationally and internationally.
Andrew's proposals to The British Medical Association resulted in changes to their national policy on Safeguarding Vulnerable Children.
His international work commitments, following his Fellowship, include being a member of the Board of Directors of M'Lop Tapang, a social development organisation working to promote the health, education and social care of vulnerable children and young people in Cambodia.
In 2015 Andrew founded a new charity, SicKids, to improve the outcomes for children and young people in the North West of England and South East Asia.
"Being made a Churchill Fellow is one of the most fantastic things that has happened in my entire career so far and I’m confident that the enthusiastic and warm reception that my report has had will result in many more opportunities to make, as Sir Winston Churchill himself said, “...this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone”.