12 Fellowships awarded in the North West

Published: 3 Mar 2015

12 Fellowships awarded in the North West

To mark its 50th anniversary year as Sir Winston’s living legacy, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has just awarded a record number of 150 Travelling Fellowships. Twelve of these grants, totalling £71,000, have been awarded to people in the North West.

The 12 Fellows will travel to 12 countries between them, across four continents, where they will carry out a wide range of projects. The average length of a Fellowship is six weeks.

This year’s North West Fellows include:

  • Hugh Miller, a furniture designer and maker from Liverpool, who will be travelling to Japan to explore the traditions and techniques of Japanese cabinetry.
  • Robin Abrams, an analyst from Liverpool, who will be travelling to China, India and Japan to explore innovation and communication in renewable and next generation energy technologies.
  • Theodore Vass, who works for Citybike in Liverpool, and will be travelling to Denmark and the USA to investigate cycling as a tool for social change and sustainable travel.
  • Andy Laidlaw, a prison service manager from Liverpool, who will be travelling to the USA to explore the impact of effective mentoring on reoffending and community safety.
  • Jacqueline Johnston-Lynch, Head of Service at Liverpool's Tom Harrison House, an addiction treatment centre. She will be travelling to the USA to investigate addiction treatment of military veterans and emergency personnel.
  • Mike Jackson, a consultant paramedic from Liverpool, who will be travelling to the USA to study best practice in identifying and transporting major trauma patients.
  • David Armes, a letterpress printer from Manchester, who will be travelling to Canada and the USA to investigate how North American contemporary letterpress can inform UK practitioners.
  • Debbie Clarke, a member of the Unicorn Grocery Cooperative in Manchester, who will be travelling to Canada and the USA to investigate the social and environmental benefits of UK food co-operatives.
  • Andy Mathers, a science teacher from Blackpool, who will be leading a Scouts mountaineering expedition to Greenland, where the group will explore and map the Arctic wilderness.
  • Michael Davies, a history teacher from Lancaster, who will be visiting schools in Israel, Jordan and the occupied Palestinian Territory. His aim is to create a balanced and innovative teaching module about the conflict for secondary history students.
  • Ian Whelan, from Stockport, who is the director of a research and development company. He will be travelling to India and Sri Lanka to collaborate in a study of traditionally used insecticide plants.

Since its inception in February 1965, over 5,000 ordinary British men and women have been awarded Churchill Fellowships, from over 100,000 applicants. The ethos remains the same five decades on – for individuals to visit different parts of the world in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of social, environmental, medical and scientific issues, in order to bring back new approaches and innovative ideas to Britain, for the benefit of their local and regional communities, and, in many cases, the nation.

Before his death in 1965, Sir Winston was adamant that he did not wish to have another statue as his memorial, so he approved the setting up of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (www.wcmt.org.uk) as his national memorial and living legacy, for the benefit of future generations.

The Trust was founded on 1 February 1965, the day after Churchill's funeral; and just one week after his passing an Appeal was launched to the nation by Field Marshal Lord Alexander of Tunis. Millions of grateful British people willingly gave personal contributions to the newly created Trust. The nation raised an initial £2.8 million – a huge sum of approximately £48 million in today’s money, which remains the basis of the Trust’s finances today.

“Sir Winston’s legacy lives on through our Fellows – individuals who, like him, have vision, leadership, a passion with a purpose, and a commitment to help their fellow citizens” says Jamie Balfour, Director General of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Churchill Fellows are remarkable but essentially ordinary individuals.  Aged 18 and over, they come from all walks of life (no qualifications are required in order to apply, but you must be a British citizen).  Their common denominator is their dedication to solving often complex problems facing their communities.

“Churchill understood the power of potential. Inspiring millions around the world during his lifetime, Sir Winston believed and proved that, with the right support, ordinary men and women could achieve extraordinary feats – and that their success and knowledge sharing would inspire and drive others in turn”, explains Sir Richard Vickers, Director General of the Winston Memorial Trust, who served from 1983-1993.

Notes to Editors:

In total 150 Fellowships have been awarded across the UK in 2015, an investment of over £1.34 million in British citizens. The Fellows will be travelling to 58 countries between them, across 6 continents. The categories for the 2016 Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowships will be announced on 6th May 2015. See www.wcmt.org.uk for more details.

Annual categories represent current areas of concern in the UK, as well as Churchill’s areas of interest, such as penal reform, travel, the crafts and communities.



  • Churchill was voted ‘Greatest Briton of all time’ in a 2002 BBC poll
  • Over 5,100 WCMT Travelling Fellowships have been awarded since 1965
  • 66 Travelling Fellowships awarded in the first year (1966)
  • 150 – Travelling Fellowships awarded in 2015, a record number, to mark the 50th anniversary


Examples of current categories:


  • Education
  • Environment and Sustainable Living
  • Prison and Penal Reform
  • Medicine, Health & Patient Care


Examples of our partners:


  • The Baring Foundation (Arts and Older People / Creative Ageing)
  • The Rank Foundation (Communities that Work)
  • Wave Trust (Early Years Prevention & Intervention)
  • The Prison Reform Trust (Prison & Penal Reform)



Churchill 2015

‘Churchill 2015’ is a unique international celebration of the life and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill, fifty years after his death. Churchill-related activity will take place around the world to commemorate his achievements, to highlight his vibrant existing legacy, to promote a range of educational opportunities and to bring his life and work to new audiences. Churchill 2015 follows three main themes: Commemoration, to mark this important anniversary appropriately; Education, to engage and inspire future generations; and Legacy, to highlight, develop and enhance the existing work of Churchill organisations in delivering programmes focusing on leadership, debate and public speaking. Churchill 2015 is being led by an alliance of those charities and institutions with an interest in the life or legacy of Sir Winston. For a list of partners and a first glimpse of some of the planned activities (there are more to be announced) see www.churchillcentral.com.

We have many examples of Fellows’ stories of achievement from 1965 to the present day. If you would like one from a particular year or location, or would like to interview a Fellow, please contact The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Press Office on 020 7799 1660, or email [email protected]


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