Five Cumbria residents have been awarded prestigious Churchill Fellowships offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the world and research cutting-edge solutions to important topical issues. The awards will be publicly announced on 7 March.
The award winners and their projects are:
Vincent Romano, a paramedic from Penrith, will travel to Canada and the USA to research mental health support for ambulance workers. He will use his findings to develop a peer support service for UK ambulance workers. Vincent’s Fellowship is supported by Mr Björn Savén.
Lois Mansfield, a lecturer from Kirkby Stephen, will travel to Japan to research the use of place-based cultural capital as a tool for rural development. She will seek to identify development opportunities for struggling upland economies in the UK.
Ruth Leahy, a council worker from Bowston, will travel to the USA to explore strategies aimed at increasing the number of young people living and working in rural areas. She will use her findings to develop a pilot project in the UK.
Mohammed Dhalech, from Carlisle, and a member of the British Mountaineering Council Equity group, will travel to Canada and the USA to study approaches to increasing engagement in outdoor activities among Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities. He will share his findings with organisations promoting outdoor activities in the UK. Mohammed’s Fellowship is supported by The Linbury Trust.
Mary Houston, from Kendal, and the manager of an organic farm and mental health charity, will travel to Norway, the Netherlands and the USA to research mental health services based on farms. She aims to use her findings to develop new models of mental health support in rural areas.
Together they will receive grants totalling over £32,000. They are among 150 people from all regions of the UK who were selected this year from almost 1,800 applicants to win a Churchill Fellowship. The average length of a Fellowship is six weeks.
“Churchill Fellows are inspiring individuals who scour the world for fresh approaches to today’s crucial issues,” said Julia Weston, Chief Executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT). “It’s a unique chance to make change happen, and every UK citizen over the age of 18 can apply. The next round of applications will open on 16 May 2019.”
The next chance to apply for a Churchill Fellowship opens on 16 May 2019 and includes new categories on ‘Palliative and end of life care’ and ‘Physical activity: making moves for healthier lives’. Application details are online at wcmt.org.uk.