FOUR Oxfordshire residents have been awarded fellowships to research and travel the world.

The recipients of the Churchill Fellowships will bring back new ideas that can be brought into action in the UK.

Two of the new fellows are from Witney, whilst one is from Oxford and another lectures at Oxford Brookes University.

Senior lecturer Dan Butcher will investigate ways to improve support for people living with heart failure in Canada and Sweden.

See also: Is the 'Beast of Burford' dead?

He will share his findings with colleagues and charities in the UK.

Mr Butcher, who has been a nurse for over 30 years, said: “The fellowship will provide me with a fantastic opportunity to learn from medical, nursing and health care experts in Canada and Sweden and bring these insights back to the UK to influence and improve care for a growing number of people living with and dying from advanced heart failure.

“I am thrilled to have been awarded the fellowship, not only for the opportunity to travel and research but also to meet other fellows.”

Oxford Mail:

Matt Roebuck, a healthy place shaping partner for Active Oxfordshire, is assessing ways to make sport more readily accessible for urban communities, in Denmark, Jordan and Singapore and will use his findings to influence UK policy change.

He said: “Healthy place shaping has three pillars and my fellowship will focus on how we turn from a culture of no ball games and keep off the grass to one that prioritises the use of the public realm.

“I’m looking forward to learning from Denmark where they have evolved from delivering community activity to innovate with award-winning architecture and create a new kind of sporting experience, whilst in Jordan, through the Street Sport Incubator, they are supporting young entrepreneurs to be creative and adapt sport to fit the public realm.”

Oxford Mail:

Meanwhile, development editor Samantha Bennett from Witney is researching how robots can help children with medical needs to participate in lessons remotely, in Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and the USA.

She said: “In 2018, my 12-year-old son was diagnosed with bone cancer and was unable to attend school for many months.

“His hospital school provided him with a telepresence robot as part of the UK’s first pilot project to enable children to live-stream to their classrooms whilst they are unable to attend in person.

“Being able to stay connected to his school and friends provided a sense of normality and made a huge difference to his emotional health during such a difficult time.”

She will share her findings with schools and policy makers in the UK.

Oxford Mail:

Fellow Witney resident Emily Carr will assess initiatives that promote and improve diversity in the construction industry, in Sweden.

She explained: “My fellowship is an incredible opportunity to be able to travel to another country to learn how other organisations are improving diversity and promoting women in their country’s construction industry.

“I am very passionate about my fellowship project topic as I am not only part of the ‘14 per cent’ of women working in the UK’s construction industry but I am also part of the less than two per cent of women who work onsite every day.”

Oxford Mail:

The four new fellows are among 141 awarded this year across a range of topics.

Julia Weston, chief executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, said: “This year we have awarded Churchill Fellowships to 141 inspiring people from all areas of UK society, who will travel the world in search of the best solutions for the UK’s most pressing problems.

“They will explore innovations in a wide range of fields and bring back new ideas to strengthen their communities and professions across the UK.”

Anyone can apply for a Churchill Fellowship, so long as they are a UK citizen aged 18 or over.

The next chance to apply for one opens on April, 30 for travel in 2021.

Applications open via