Kirsten Horsburgh, National Naloxone Coordinator at Scottish Drugs Forum was presented with a newly designed Churchill medallion at a prestigious biennial award ceremony in London last week (Wednesday, 18th May), after successfully completing her Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship.
Kirsten, from Galashiels, was awarded the 6 week Fellowship to research strategies adopted in Australia to reduce drug-related deaths. During this trip she spent two weeks in the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in the Kings Cross area of Sydney to gather learning from this service to inform key stakeholders and decision-makers in Scotland.
On her return to Scotland, Kirsten consolidated this knowledge and released a report entitled ‘Reducing preventable deaths among people who use drugs’ which has been well received in the drugs field.
Drug-related deaths in the UK are at an all time high. In Scotland, these deaths are among the highest in Europe, per head of population. 613 people lost their lives to accidental and preventable overdoses in 2014 with all evidence pointing to 2015’s figures being high again.
Speaking about the Fellowship, Kirsten said “The Travelling Fellowships provide opportunities for UK citizens to go abroad on a worthwhile project of their own choosing, with the aim of enriching their lives through their global experiences – and to bring back the benefit to others in their UK profession or community through sharing the results of their new knowledge.
“This has been a once in a lifetime experience which has exceeded all of my expectations. The fellowship has introduced me to new networks and opportunities, whilst creating some lifelong friends along the way. I am extremely grateful and would encourage anyone who is passionate about a subject close to their heart to apply.”
Kirsten was presented with the stunning blue cloisonné enamelled silver Churchill medallion by its designer and Guest of Honour, Professor Brian Clarke, who is a world renowned architectural artist, and himself a 1974 Churchill Fellow. 129 Fellows received their medallions at a ceremony in Church House, in Central London. Church House has significant Churchillian associations as during the Blitz, Winston Churchill requisitioned Church House as a makeshift Houses of Parliament after the originals had been damaged by bombing.
Professor Brian Clarke praised all the Fellows for their outstanding achievements, and said that “I know from personal experience that the Fellowship represents a wonderful opportunity. I am continually amazed and inspired by the Churchill Fellows dedication and commitment to making a difference in so many areas affecting today’s society.”
For more information please don’t hesitate to contact Andy Coffey at Scottish Drugs Forum at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 221 1175 or 07748 720 796
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
In 2017 The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will be investing around £1.3million in British citizens by awarding 150 Travelling Fellowships.
This will directly support British citizens who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities, and society as a whole.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established shortly after Sir Winston’s death in 1965, as his national memorial and living legacy. Since then it has awarded over 5,250 Travelling Fellowships.
The application process for travel in 2017 is now open, and there are 14 varied categories – including two new ones – in which people can apply. Visit www.wcmt.org.uk for more details, or to apply before 5pm on 20th September 2016, for travel in 2017.
Successful applicants must demonstrate the commitment, the character and the tenacity to travel globally in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of challenges facing us today, and upon their return work to transform and improve aspects of today’s society for the benefit of others in the UK.
A travelling sabbatical for people with the drive, determination and desire to help others, can further their leadership and role model abilities, and enhance their personal development.
Employees who are awarded Fellowships bring great benefits to their employers, not only in terms of the positive impact on their personal development, but also with the advantage of their enhanced knowledge, new ideas and examples of best practise that they bring back to the organisation.
Applications are judged purely on project merit, and these opportunities are available to all UK residents over the age of 18, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being visited, for approximately 6 weeks overseas.
Scottish Drugs Forum is a membership-based drugs policy and information organisation. It is an independent centre of expertise on drug use and drug problems, supporting effective evidence based responses.
Their mission is to play a leading role in creating a Scotland where drugs are no longer causing significant harm and where people with substance problems have access to the highest quality services to support their recovery.
SDF has consolidated its role as a centre of expertise through developing the organisation as a learning and training centre, and as result provides a variety of courses that support the drugs field in Scotland and further abroad.
As well as training, SDF also has an important role in raising awareness of Scotland’s drug problem and reducing the stigma of people with drug problems.
It has won various awards for it’s work in User Involvement work and most notably for the Addiction Worker Training Project (AWTP), a program that mentors former addicts who wish to pursue a career in drug or alcohol services. SDF supervisors support trainees though a basic counselling qualification, and facilitate placements in various partner services.
For more information please visit: www.sdf.org.uk