The Fellows’ Award Ceremony returns
On 18 October we were delighted to welcome 107 Fellows to our first Award Ceremony since the pandemic.
“The cumulative work of 5,800 Fellows over 57 years is one of the golden threads that runs through the tapestry of our national life." - Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, guest of honour
The Fellows were presented with Churchill Medallions by our guest of honour, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames.
Sir Nicholas, who is the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, said: “The achievements of the Fellows who are to receive their medallions today, like those who went before them, are truly inspiring and deserving of profound respect. I know that they will have gained hugely from their experiences and will be able to put back the lessons they have garnered into their lives, their jobs and their communities.
“I have studied with care and with admiration the extraordinary range of the work of the Churchill Fellows and I am sure we can all be amazed by the diversity of the interests, abilities and achievements of the Fellows this year and every year.
“I think it is interesting to reflect that the Churchill Fellowships are an idea from the 60s, yet essentially they remain as relevant today as they did then. The Fellowship has adapted over the decades as it should, but its essential ethos remains the same – belief in the power of an individual to effect change and develop new solutions to today’s extraordinary challenges across the whole of the society of our country.
“The Fellows recognised today have visited 46 countries between them, ranging from Namibia to Cuba, the Philippines to the Faroe Islands. They come from all the four nations of the United Kingdom and what they have learned and found will benefit themselves and the communities and professions they serve."
"I think that Winston Churchill would have been immensely proud of what the Fellows have achieved in his name." - Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, guest of honour
“In my judgement," he continued, "the work of the Churchill Fellows across the vast range of interests are a most powerful example of decent, humane instincts in action as they put to good use all they have learned and gained from their experiences.
“I do not think it is going too far to say that the cumulative work of 5,800 Fellows, over 57 years, is one of the golden threads that runs through the tapestry of our national life, and I think that Winston Churchill would have been immensely proud of what the Fellows have achieved in his name, as you, enriched through your Fellowships, in turn enrich others. I hope, indeed I am sure, that your experiences, will have been fascinating and memorable for each one of you and in some way or other will have marked your lives forever.”
This was the first time we have been able to hold the biennial ceremony since 2018. “I really can’t express how happy I am to be standing here in front of you today,” said Chief Executive Julia Weston. “We have all been waiting patiently for over two years for this day to arrive and finally here we are. It is just so exciting to be in a room with so many Churchill Fellows again.”
The Award Ceremony
The event was followed by a reception for Fellows to meet each other – a moment filled with excitement and enthusiasm. We were particularly pleased to welcome David Trebeck and Adam Davey, Chairman and Chief Executive of our sister organisation in Australia, the Churchill Trust, who had flown over especially to attend.
Concluding the main event, Chairman Jeremy Soames said: “It has been my great pleasure to witness the new generation of Churchill Fellows receive their Medallions today. No one should underestimate the quantum of their achievement in becoming a Churchill Fellow - which many describe as ‘life changing’. We are very proud that you are all part of this remarkable and unique Fellowship.”
Many Fellows posted about the event on twitter. Eluned Lewis (CF 2016) posted: “Wonderfully humbling and inspiring @ChurchillFship medal ceremony yesterday. An honour to be presented my medal by @NSoames and to meet such passionate and dedicated people.”
Zoe Cadwell (CF 2019) wrote: “Fantastic day being presented with my @ChurchillFship Medallion today. To be in a room with such awe-inspiring people was a privilege, and to be part of this amazing group is an honour. If you are thinking of applying, go for it!”
Hannah Grist (CF 2017) reflected: “We've had such a completely wonderful day celebrating @ChurchillFship in London. I'm feeling very inspired and motivated for positive change.”
Ian Brown (CF 2019) summed up the whole day as “a complete life affirmation.”