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17 Sep 2022
Apply now – Churchill Fellowship is offering financial support to ten innovators in the physical activity sector
By Frances Marcellin
Apply now – Churchill Fellowship is offering financial support to ten innovators in the physical activity sector
Emily Jenkins from Move Dance Feel was funded for work delivering movement interventions for people with cancer
Photo: Photo: Move Dance Feel/Sibohan Davis Studio
The Churchill Fellowship – the operating name of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust – is searching for innovative exercise-inspired projects that could transform people’s mental and physical health.

The initiative is part of a partnership with UK Active, which is now in the second of a three-year tie up.

This year’s theme is “physical activity: making moves for healthier lives” and up to ten winning applicants – who must be UK citizens – will be funded to develop their ideas through the knowledge and advice shared by experts, organisations and leading practitioners over a two-month period.

According to UK Active, applications that “explore using physical activity, exercise and sport as a vehicle to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities” are particularly welcomed.

“We're delighted to be partnering with UK Active for a second year of Churchill Fellowships, which seek new ideas and solutions from around the world to get people more active,” said Julia Weston, CEO of the Churchill Fellowship.

“This issue is one of the biggest health challenges of our time, but every year we're inspired by the passion and determination of Churchill fellows to make a difference, supported by the knowledge and ideas acquired through their fellowship research.”

Fellows previously selected in the physical activity category are pursuing a diverse range of ventures, many of which will have a greater impact on health outcomes due to the knowledge gained during the funded period.

In 2020, mental health nurse and fitness instructor Matt Waugh – who believes exercise should be prescribed for mental health patients – was selected. As part of his fellowship he travelled to Australia to learn from the Keeping the Body in Mind (KBIM) programme in Sydney, which helps young patients suffering from psychosis to improve diet, exercise and sleep habits. His social enterprise Live More is currently setting up gyms in mental hospital wards across the UK.

Emily Jenkins, another fellow, is using dance to help cancer patients, having founded Move Dance Feel for women affected by cancer in 2016. Ben Wilkins, CEO of Good Boost – a tech-driven social enterprise that develops exercise programmes for MSK patients – is committed to the idea that exercise can support the management and prevention of MSK conditions. The fellowship gave him the opportunity to explore the role of gamification in motivating older adults to be more active.

“Physical inactivity is prevalent across many generations of people around the world and numerous global studies have shown that we are not doing enough physical activity to keep ourselves healthy – a situation made worse by the pandemic,” said Tanni Grey-Thompson, a Churchill Fellow and Churchill Fellowship Advisory Council member. “I'm enormously pleased that UK Active will once again work with the Churchill Fellowship to promote this programme of fellowships. Research holds the key to the solutions needed to turn the tide on physical inactivity.”

The Churchill Fellowship was developed with the support of Winston Churchill, launching in 1965 to honour his pioneering spirit and inspire future generations of changemakers. Each year one hundred fellows are funded across 13 different categories – from physical activity to climate change – and today the Churchill Fellowship network comprises 3,800 individuals.

The website offers more details about this year’s physical activity theme and applicants have until 22 November to send in their forms.

Those interested can apply here: www.hcmmag.com/ChurchillFellowship2022 and HCM will be reporting on the outcomes, to share best practice with the industry.

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