A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Buckingham Palace as part of the 50th anniversary memorial of Churchill’s death. The reason for the invite is that I am something called a Churchill Fellow. This came about after gaining a travelling fellowship in 2001 to Australia and New Zealand to study grant free conservation (the irony of gaining a grant to study did not pass me by!) The fellowships are given as life changing experiences and for me it was. The simple clear lesson I took from the whole experience is that we talk too much and don’t ‘do’ enough. I was challenged by a New Zealander about a project I had been thinking about and he said “do you think it’s a good idea” I said “yes” he retorted “why the bloody hell aren’t you doing it then’?… he had a point.
At the Palace I got to me the residents. HM Queen and Prince Phillip. The following conversations at the reception with the other winners of fellowships was one of the most thought-provoking evenings of my life. London Zoo Gorilla keeper who went to New York to study the difference in techniques, Dame Tani Grey-Thompson who went to Australia to study elite athlete system approach, RAF medic who studies altitude sickness in the Himalayas and the list went on. If you have an idea and get a chance its worth you trying for one of these life changing fellowships… I think it changed me!