Scottish architect awarded Churchill Fellowship to explore worldwide housing innovation

An architect from Inverness is among ten UK housing professionals and others to have been awarded prestigious Churchill Fellowships offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the world and research cutting-edge solutions to important topical issues in housing.

Awarded in a partnership between the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) and the National Housing Federation, the awards involve issues ranging from low-energy homes to independent living for older people, support for homeless young women to intergenerational cohousing.

Award recipient Catriona Kinghorn will be travelling to Japan and the USA to explore the use of timber in producing low-energy homes before using her findings from overseas to inspire positive change in the UK upon her return.

“We are delighted to offer dedicated awards for new approaches to social and affordable housing,” said WCMT’s chief executive, Julia Weston. “As Churchill Fellows, they will use the inspirational ideas they gather from across the world to become game-changers in their field back home. This life-changing opportunity is open to everyone, with our next round of grants opening on 27 April.”

James Prestwich, head of policy at the National Housing Federation, said: “We are very pleased to support Churchill Fellows and this research into some of the most cutting-edge innovations being implemented abroad.

“A home that is affordable and safe is a basic need everyone has. The housing associations sector knows it can do even more to improve the lives of the people we serve, just by thinking differently about our homes, services and communities. We hope this research will lead to ideas that could revolutionise the way we deliver housing in the UK.”

The other award winners are:

  • Gita Prasad, a health and social care commissioner from Norwich, who will be travelling to Denmark and the Netherlands to investigate new models of supported independent living for older people. Gita’s Fellowship is supported by the Lady Hind trust.
  • Esther Sample, a charity worker from Tottenham, who will be travelling to Canada, Finland and Sweden to research secure housing for homeless young women.
  • Rosie Hervey, an architect from New Cross, who will be travelling to Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands to explore intergenerational cohousing models.
  • Caroline Gore-Booth, a charity worker from Hull, who will be travelling to Canada and the USA to investigate support for disadvantaged people linking housing with training and employment.
  • Nic Bliss, a housing policy worker from Birmingham, who will be travelling to Canada to investigate approaches to growing the co-operative housing sector.
  • Maureen Corcoran, a housing association board member from Greenwich, who will be travelling to Germany to explore alternative approaches to the provision of affordable housing through the private rental sector.
  • Ella Hancock, a charity worker from Croydon, who will be travelling to Sweden, the Netherlands and the USA to research affordable social cohousing for young people.
  • Anna Hope, a housing consultant from Bristol, who will be travelling to Australia, Germany, New Zealand and the Netherlands to explore new models of bidding for land in support of affordable housing.
  • Tom Follett, a policy worker from Bristol, who will be travelling to Germany, Spain and the USA to research the development of cooperative housing.
  • Together they will receive grants totalling over £60,000 and travel to 13 countries across four continents. They are among 150 people who were selected this year from over 1,000 applicants to win a Churchill Fellowship to research issues across a range of sectors. The average length of a Fellowship is six weeks.

    Churchill Fellowships are open to all UK citizens over 18, and the next chance to apply for a Fellowship opens on 27 April 2018. Application details are online at

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