A PENARTH man has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Medallion after successfully completing his Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship.

Philip Thomas, an arts project manager, was presented with a Churchill Medallion at a prestigious biennial award ceremony in London on Wednesday, May 28.

Philip was presented with the Churchill Medallion by Guest of Honour, Dame Mary Peters DBE, Olympic gold medal winning pentathlete and a 1972 Churchill Fellow herself.

Dame Mary presented 113 Fellows with 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. It was also from Church House that he made his famous speech announcing the sinking of the Bismarck on May 24, 1941.

As part of his Fellowship, Philip travelled to the USA to investigate the American Senior Theatre movement with a view to setting up a senior theatre company for Wales. The Readers Theatre of Wales was set up in 2013.

Speaking about the Fellowship, Philip said: “The Travelling Fellowships provide opportunities for British citizens to go abroad on a worthwhile enterprise of their own choosing, with the aim of enriching their lives through wider experience – and to bring back the benefit to others in their UK profession or community through sharing the results of their new knowledge."

Dame Mary praised all the Fellows for their outstanding achievements, and said that “the Fellowship represents a wonderful opportunity to give something back to the community and others in the UK. We all have talents. Strive for personal excellence – doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way."

She also urged the Fellows’ to continue to follow their dreams, saying “it is attitude rather than aptitude that matters”.

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 4820 Travelling Fellowships.

The application process is now open, and there are 11 varied categories in which people can apply. Visit www.wcmt.org.uk for more details, or to apply before 5pm on, September 23, 2014, for travel in 2015.