Janet Dowling, a Cruse Bereavement Volunteer from Surrey, attended a reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Her Majesty The Queen on 18th March. Her Majesty The Queen, who is patron of Cruse Bereavement Care, is also patron of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, and hosted the event to mark its 50th anniversary as Sir Winston’s living legacy.
Janet was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2006, and travelled to the US and Canada to investigate Storytelling in the care of the dying and bereaved. Since then she has worked with Cruse Bereavement Care as a bereavement volunteer, and has run numerous workshops for Cruse and other bereavement organisations both in the UK and abroad, on the use of storytelling in the care of the dying and the bereaved. She has written several articles on her work, and has been regularly asked to run workshops at conferences, including the Cruse annual conference. Her current performance set as an oral Storyteller is “Hold Up, Death” which has been performed around the UK. It brings together stories from around the world about Death, and presents them in a new light.
She says “The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust gave me the opportunity to visit numerous projects in The US and Canada where storytelling was used in different ways to support bereaved people. It was an exciting experience, and enabled me to see how the work could be developed and applied with the dying and the bereaved, and with other groups of people who needed help to manage their feelings about their situation. This has been invaluable in my bereavement support work with children and adults. Meeting the Queen is an important recognition of that work.”
Fellows from every decade since 1965 represented the Trust at the reception, as well as representatives from The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in Australia, and the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States. Since 1965, over 5000 British citizens have been awarded Churchill Fellowships, from over 100,000 applicants, to travel overseas to study areas of topical and personal interest.To mark its semicentennial, The Trust has just awarded a record number of 150 Travelling Fellowships. This year’s Fellows will travel to 58 countries between them, across six continents, where they will carry out a wide range of projects. The average length of a Fellowship is 6 weeks.
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