Highlights of 2022
Our Chairman Jeremy Soames reflects on the achievements and challenges of the past year.
"We have done more than simply return to core business. We have also innovated." - Jeremy Soames, Chairman
This year we were delighted to open our doors to the world once again, after two years affected by the global pandemic. In the spring of 2022 we were able to restart Fellows’ international research trips, and in the autumn we opened once more for applications for new Fellowships.
But in this time we have done more than simply return to our core business. We have also innovated in terms of what we offer and how we work.
Firstly, we introduced a digital option for the Fellowship, which allows Fellows to conduct part or all of their worldwide research online from the UK. The environmental benefits of this are clear, and we hope it will also widen access to those for whom travel is an obstacle.
Secondly, we launched six new Fellowship themes, including Climate Change, Resilient Economies and Communities, and Tech for All. For the new theme of Children and young people with experience of care, we are delighted to be partnering with the pioneering children’s charity Coram and The Hadley Trust.
Thirdly, we completed a three-year pilot to assess how we can support Fellows to increase their impact across the UK. Channelled through the Activate Fund, this programme made its third and final round of grants in 2022, providing £590,688 to accelerate the impact of 22 Fellows’ projects. To date this fund has disbursed £1,211,235 and we are now in a position to evaluate its findings for our future programme.
And fourthly, although the pandemic prevented the Fellows from travelling overseas, it did not stop us from funding their projects in the UK. In addition to the Activate Fund, during the pandemic we created an emergency Covid-19 Action Fund, to support projects by Fellows which addressed the effects of the pandemic in many areas of society and throughout the country, from the Hebrides to the Channel Isles. In 2022 this awarded £399,534 of grants to 45 Fellows’ projects, bringing its total three-year funding to £1,072,070. We are very grateful to all of our supporters who contributed financially towards this emergency fund, which was our contribution to society at a time of grave national need.
Fellows' continuing contribution to society was shown once again in our annual survey of their impact. This revealed that almost half of Fellows indirectly impact more than 1,000 people with their projects, with 40% influencing the development of national policy. A remarkable 100% would recommend the Fellowship programme to others. In these results we can see the commitment and energy of our remarkable community of changemakers.
Towards the end of the year under review, we were greatly saddened by the death of our Royal Patron, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her Late Majesty had been our Patron since our foundation in 1965 and a continuing source of support over many years. She had been the guest of honour at several of our Fellows’ Award Ceremonies, and for our 50th anniversary in 2015 Her Late Majesty hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace. In 2019, she graciously permitted all Fellows to use the honorific ‘CF’ after their names, as an indication of their lifelong status as a Churchill Fellow. This now serves as a lasting legacy of Her Late Majesty’s commitment to the Fellowship. Our tribute to her can be read here.
I will close by saying farewell to two retiring Trustees, John Baker and Merlyn Lowther, who have come to the end of their term of office after many years of valuable contribution to the continuing success of the Fellowship. We also welcome a new Trustee, Simon Bevan, and four new members of our Advisory Council: Philip Avery, Carlene Firmin, Anna Morrison and Steve Tyler. We look forward to working with them in the years ahead.
Finally I would like to thank all those who make our achievements possible: the Trustees, Council members, staff team, partners and supporters – and of course the Fellows themselves, whose global learning and UK impact continue to inspire us all.
The views and opinions expressed by any Fellow are those of the Fellow and not of the Churchill Fellowship or its partners, which have no responsibility or liability for any part of them.