Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Churchill's living legacy marks 50 years, with record number of travel grants, worth £1.3 million

 
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 - investing at least £1.34 million in British citizens.

150 grants have been awarded to people from all across the UK. The Fellows will travel to 58 countries between them, across six continents, where they will carry out a wide range of projects. The average length of a Fellowship is 6 weeks.
Examples of this year’s Fellows and their projects:
  • Ione Maria Rojas, from Tower Hamlets in London is the founder and project manager of 'Furry Tales', which runs animal-assisted activities from Stepney City Farm to combat social isolation in elders. She will be visiting related projects in Israel, Palestine and the USA with the aim of discovering best practise.
  • Mike Jackson, a consultant paramedic from Liverpool, will be travelling to the USA to study best practice in identifying and transporting major trauma patients.
  • Ruth Mantle, an Alzheimer Scotland dementia nurse consultant from Avoch in Scotland, will be travelling to the USA and Australia to explore innovative ways for staff to connect with people with dementia in their everyday interactions.
  • Seb Mayfield, a community food expert from Winchester in Hampshire, travelling to Canada to investigate how emergency food providers in Canada are going beyond the provision of food aid to create a more just food system.
  • Ruth Davey, a shoemaker from Machynlleth in Wales, will be travelling to Japan and Mexico to research the use of ancient traditions and craft in modern design and manufacture.
  • Janet Williamson, a school principal from Belfast, will be travelling to Australia to evaluate alternative success measures to GSCE and A2 examinations.
  • Siobhann Tighe, from Southwark in London, is Head of Prison Radio at the National Offender Management Service in London. She will be travelling to Sweden and the USA to find out about prison radio programmes which can be heard by the wider public.
  • Jessica Cundy, from London, is a Development Manager at the NSPCC. She will be travelling to North America, Sweden and Italy to explore best practice in early intervention in families with complex needs.
  • Zoe Barber, a surgical registrar from Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire will be travelling to the USA to investigate Project Angel Food, which delivers nutritious meals to the critically ill in California, in order to teach others the importance of nutrition and human contact in the critically ill.
  • Paul Matthews is a senior practitioner with Barnardo’s in Bristol. He will be travelling to Canada and the USA in order to identify best practice and approaches for supporting sexually exploited boys.
  • Naomi Watson, from Walthamstow in London, who is a Core leader in Young Hackney. She will be travelling to Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda to research effective interventions for reducing violent crime amongst young black men.
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.

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