Seven Fellowships awarded in West Midlands
Published: 3 Mar 2015
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. Seven of these grants, totalling £47,000, have been awarded to people in the West Midlands.
The seven Fellows will travel to 10 countries between them, across three continents, where they will carry out a wide range of projects. The average length of a Fellowship is six weeks.
This year’s West Midlands Fellows include:
- Dr Carolyn Blackburn, from Droitwich Spa, who is a research Fellow in Early Childhood Studies. She will be travelling to New Zealand to study relationship-based early intervention services for children with complex disabilities.
- James Edmonds, a film and TV editor from Stroud, who will be travelling to the USA to meet with bereaved parents and the charities that help them through their loss. His aim is to produce an informed and accessible film aimed at parents and care professionals.
- Steven Legge, from Stroud, who is Head of Gloucestershire Music. He will be travelling to the USA to study the American wind band education model.
- Michael Flannery, from Ruardean, who is a conservator and restorer of antique clocks. He will be travelling to North America and parts of Europe to analyse appropriate conservation methods of early mechanical wooden clocks.
- Elizabeth Koole, who is National Services Team Lead at Winston's Wish, based in Cheltenham. She will be travelling to Australia, Ireland and New Zealand to explore ways of providing a better service for children bereaved by suicide.
- Anita Shervington, from Birmingham, who is a community engagement coordinator for Cook and Eat Well Coventry. She will be travelling to North America and Guyana to explore holistic approaches to engaging underrepresented groups in STEM through the arts.
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.
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Examples of current categories:
Examples of our partners:
‘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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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