50th Anniversary of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Dr Jenny Tillotson attended a special event and presented a poster at Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace of Blenheim Palace, on Wednesday 27th May, to mark the 50th anniversary of his living legacy – The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT), and 50 years since his passing.
Jenny went on her Travelling Fellowship in 2014 to the east and west coast of America to investigate ‘Sensory Fashion Stress Management Tools to Prevent A Bipolar Relapse’. Since she’s got back, Jenny has been establishing a major research project and commercialising eScent®, an enabling platform technology and delivery device that emits wellbeing fragrances triggered by an immediate change in mood, increased stress levels or disturbed sleep patterns. Clinical evidence on the properties of essential oils have shown that certain aromas can influence mood, physiology and behaviour, produce sedative effects and reduce cortisol in stressful situations. Too little sleep and too much stress are known triggers for bipolar episodes (both depression and mania). eScent® introduces a relapse preventative tool to help sustain daily maintenance plans whilst teaching the user how to recognise the symptoms of stress through the sense of smell. It works as a prodromal scent intervention that continually monitors the little shifts in cognitive behaviour before the bigger shifts appear. It forms a localised and non-invasive 'scent bubble', an area of constant, detectable scent for the user based on a change in vital signs and biometric feedback, i.e., heartrate, galvanic skin response, body odour, blood pressure and sound (i.e., angry voice from irritable behavior). A sensory awareness is found that reduces anxiety and creates a new level of wellness.
Embedded discreetly in jewellery or clothing, eScent® can be deployed in multiple solutions across markets sectors including wellbeing, diagnostics and m-health, and will benefit many people who suffer from affective disorders. Key findings suggested eScent® could attract high levels of acceptability as a fashion item that is easy to integrate into everyday life, not only for its ‘de-stigmatising’ qualities, accelerating wellbeing and as an enhancement for practicing mindfulness, but as a tool that can help patients learn their own typical behavioural patterns through scent and smell.
Jenny’s Fellowship is also expected to impact on fashion, bespoke fine fragrances for luxury brands, retail, sports, entertainment, learning, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
“I am delighted to have received this Fellowship in the STEM category. This experience has enabled me to maximise the contribution that the sense of smell can make to enhance mood using digital health technologies. Churchill had a passion for science and like me (and his wife Clementine), he suffered from mental ill health (his ‘black dog’) - and so in his legacy, it is an honour to work on this digital lifestyle and healthcare project at the interface of science, fashion, sensory design and wellbeing, driven by my personal experiences and desire to empower others. The findings of my Fellowship will help incorporate scent into the realm of wearable technology to benefit not only myself, but the wider community for future generations to come”
Dr Jenny Tillotson May 2015
Over 1000 Fellows and their guests, from every decade since 1965 attended the day, which was hosted by the Duke of Marlborough’s sister – Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, who is herself a generational cousin of Sir Winston, and a member of the WCMT Advisory Council.
Members of the Churchill family, including Sir Winston’s grandson Jeremy Soames; and his great-grandson, Randolph, were also present; as well as many of the Trustees and Advisory Council from the WCMT.
Highlights of the day included presentations given by Fellows from 1968 to 2014, about how their Fellowship has shaped their lives and careers. Internationally acclaimed Churchill experts, including historian Sir David Cannedine, also gave talks.
The special day was rounded off with a spectacular Spitfire Display, followed by Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill and Randolph Churchill taking the salute at a Beating Retreat given by a marching band.
Fellows from the South West Association of the WCMT also presented Lady Henrietta with one of Britain's rarest plants, the Plymouth pear tree, to be planted in the grounds of Blenheim Palace.
Since 1965, over 5000 British citizens have been awarded Churchill Fellowships, from over 100,000 applicants, to travel overseas to study areas of topical and personal interest. The knowledge and innovative ideas they bring back are widely shared, for the benefit of their profession, their community, and, in lots of cases, the nation. For many people a Churchill Fellowship proves transformational, and they go on to achieve great things - effecting positive change within society.
Many events were held throughout the year to celebrate Sir Winston’s life and legacy.
“It is fitting to hold our 50th anniversary event at Blenheim Palace, and to come together with hundreds of Fellows from across the past 5 decades, to celebrate the life of this great leader. Sir Winston’s legacy lives on through our Fellows – individuals who, like him, have vision, leadership, a passion with a purpose, and a commitment to help their fellow citizens” says Jamie Balfour, Director General of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.