Research grant awarded to learn from overseas physical activity programmes

Our Walking for Health Manager, Frances Bain, has been awarded a unique research grant to travel overseas to meet with global leaders in physical activity and exercise referral.

A health professional talks to walkers at Barns Medical Practice in Ayr

The Churchill Fellowship, run by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, aims to open opportunities for individuals to travel across the globe in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems.

As part of the fellowship, Frances will travel to Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway for an in-depth insight into the innovative work these countries are doing to get more people active. Frances’ research will focus on both physical activity policy and practice, exploring the success and opportunities around exercise referral from health professionals, and signposting to community-based initiatives.

There are 140 Churchill Fellowships being awarded this year from 1,400 applications from across the UK, covering a range of themes including Arts and culture, Economy and enterprise, Health and wellbeing, and Science and technology. This year, the Physical Activity Fellowships are being awarded in partnership with UKActive.

On the news of the fellowship, Frances commented:

“Physical activity has such huge benefits across our physical, mental and social health. I'm excited to learn more about how similar countries to Scotland have tackled the challenges of inactivity and come up with solutions and initiatives that support people to be more active.

I hope to bring back examples of best practice, ideas for new programmes and initiatives, as well as a better understanding of the policy environment around physical activity in the countries I visit. I ultimately hope that through sharing this learning and implementing some of my research findings, that more people are encouraged and supported to be more active by the Health and Social Care professionals that they have contact with.

“Having worked in the physical activity sector for over 20 years, I have seen first-hand the benefits that being more active can have on someone's life, irrespective of their age, ability or where they live. If more people can be supported, encouraged and engaged in physical activity it will increase quality of life, reduce rates of disease and bring communities together. Health professionals can play a big part in this if the systems and frameworks are in place to support them.

“Being awarded a Churchill Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to share the work of Paths for All, travel, learn and link in with others working in the physical activity sector in the UK.”

Keep up to date with Frances’ experience on our blog and social media or find out more about the Churchill Fellowship here.


Read This Next