Prince's Countryside Fund announces new Fellowships

Person overlooking Loch Brandy
Hannah Downey

16 UK citizens, including 3 from Scotland, have been awarded Churchill Fellowships to research new ideas for improving rural living, thanks to a partnership between The Prince’s Countryside Fund and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Churchill Fellowships offer UK citizens a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the world and research a topic of their own choosing.

The issues being researched by this year’s Churchill Fellows range from rural isolation, to mental health services based on farms, from rural timebanking schemes, to the benefits of planting trees on farmland. They will use their findings from overseas to inspire positive change in the UK upon their return. See the full list of Churchill Fellows here.

Julia Weston, Chief Executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, said:

“Churchill Fellows are inspiring individuals who will scour the world for fresh approaches to the challenges and opportunities facing our rural communities. 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.”

Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said:

“The Prince’s Countryside Fund is delighted to be working with the WCMT on the Rural Living category. We are excited to see the research produced by these 16 worthy new Churchill Fellows, and particularly to see it put into practice to help sustain rural communities in the UK.”

The award winners and their projects from Scotland include:

Lorraine Coe, a nurse from the Scottish Highlands, will travel to Japan to study new technology used in health and social care. She will use her findings to inform the development of care in rural Scotland. Lorraine said: “I am passionate about improving health and social care within rural Scotland. My awareness of the ageing demographics, lack of care and lack of carers has led me to investigate how technological advances can assist the challenges we currently face in providing care in our remote and rural communities.”

Louise Wilson, from Orkney, and Director of Public Health at NHS Orkney, will travel to the Faroe Islands, Finland, Portugal and Sweden to explore approaches to enabling people living in rural areas to have a say on local health policy. She will use her findings to influence health policy in Scotland.

Jon Macleod, an artist and crofter from the Isle of Lewis, will travel to Canada to study creative projects that are bringing economic regeneration to small island communities. He will seek to develop new initiatives in his own community that are based on his findings.

Together, the 16 award winners will receive grants totalling over £110,000 and travel to 21 countries across five continents. They are among 150 people who were selected this year from almost 1,800 applicants to win a Churchill Fellowship to research issues across a range of sectors. The average length of a Fellowship is six weeks.

The next chance to apply for a Fellowship opens on 16 May 2019. Applications will again be invited in a special category dedicated to issues around strengthening countryside communities. Find out more.