Highlights of 2023
Our Chairman, Jeremy Soames, looks back over the last 12 months and reflects on the achievements and challenges of the past year.
"2023 saw us welcome our first new cohort of Fellows since 2020 and get back to the essential business that we are here to do."
It has been an enormous privilege this year to see the Churchill Fellowship community re-emerge with renewed purpose and vigour following the challenges of the pandemic. 2023 saw us welcome our first new cohort of Fellows since 2020 and get back to the essential business that we are here to do: supporting people with the passion to improve the UK to embark on a unique learning opportunity.
While we have seen the growing success of our new hybrid and online Fellowships, this year has in many ways been a celebration of the energy and enthusiasm that we can create by coming together in person. The vibrancy of the much-awaited return of our Award Ceremony was matched by the palpable excitement and energy of our inaugural Connect & Inspire event for new Fellows. These two occasions which celebrated the achievements of Fellows from previous years and welcomed in the newest members of our growing community were a testament to the resilience, determination, and hope that embodies the Fellowship.
The Churchill Fellowship is an opportunity available to all UK citizens and a highlight this year was the very encouraging increase in both the number of applicants and those awarded Fellowships who declared a disability. As an organisation, we want to reflect the diversity of UK society, something which is at the very core of our purpose. Initiatives such as our hybrid and online Fellowships – a key tool in our twin drives to manage our environmental impact and provide a flexible model that works for every UK citizen are part of our efforts to increase inclusion and representation across the Fellowship.
This year has also seen us develop a new strategy, emphasising support for Fellows to share and implement their findings which is a focus aligned with our commitment to putting learning into practice. We have invested in our team, building our capacity to realise the ambitious future we envision for the Fellowship, and as our Migration programme nears completion, we are looking forward to sharing its collective insights in the New Year, helping further amplify the crucial voice of our Fellows in the discussion around this critical issue.
Looking forward, as a Churchill Fellowship community there is much to anticipate. We are gearing up for the 60th anniversary of our organisation in 2025, a landmark celebration focusing on the profound contributions of our Fellows to life in the UK over the past six decades. This milestone is an opportunity to reflect on our enduring purpose and celebrate the incredible achievements of our Fellows, across all aspects of UK life and in every part of our four nations. Before that, we will launch new programmes in Health and Wellbeing, and Education and Skills, in 2024.
In closing, my gratitude goes out to everyone who makes our work possible: the Trustees, Advisory Council members, staff team, partners, supporters, and most importantly, the Fellows themselves, whose passion and drive combined with global learning and impact in the UK continue to be the lifeblood of this wonderful community.
After several incredibly challenging and isolating years across the UK and the world, it has been a pleasure to reconnect with so many this year and I look forward to many more moments of connection and inspiration in the coming 12 months.
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.