Newsletter May 2019

Welcome from the Chairman Mick Burrows

In February along with my fellow trustees I was delighted to welcome President Franklin Roosevelt’s great granddaughter, Sarah Schoonmaker as our Roosevelt family host and contact. Sarah is based in New York and has confirmed that she is delighted and excited to continue the long-standing legacy of cooperation between Nottinghamshire and the Roosevelt family.

We also warmly welcomed the appointment of Susan Hallam as a new Trustee. Susan is the founder and CEO of one of Nottingham’s leading digital marketing agencies, and serves as the Chair of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter and as a Trustee of Nottingham Castle. Born in the USA, Susan has lived in the UK for 34 years and brings valued knowledge, experience and links to our scholarship.

Another fantastic highlight for me was having the opportunity to hear from four scholars, Gareth Morgan and Miles Waghorn who travelled in 2017, and Angelena Efstathiou and Ben Felstead who recently returned from their very individual and different journeys to the States. Clearly Miles and Gareth have had time to put their very different experiences and learning into great local practice. All four scholars presented their findings to us, their response provided a very informative, deep and meaningful insight into their experience, the opportunities they generated and the depth of learning and knowledge they acquired. Moreover, they all stimulated us with their confidence, enthusiasm and humour, they also shared a deep determination and commitment to take their knowledge forward to initiate change and improvements in their own arena.

Our recent decision, as Trustees to hear directly from scholars on their return is a good one! From a personal point of view, this really bought home to me the real reason I serve as a Trustee. The opportunity our scholarship provides to stimulate, shape and influence change. The opportunity to gain knowledge and share best practice, the undoubted benefit and value it gives and how it enables a life enhancing insight for our scholars. The reason we all work to build a sustainable future for the scholarship to flourish.

This year we are sending three scholars to the US. Nottinghamshire County Council are generously funding a ‘Mayflower scholar’ to link into the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers. We look forward to hearing more as the selection process for all three places continues.

On that note I would like to say a few personal thanks. Firstly, to our management team led by Russ Blenkinsop who act as the anchor for the scholarship. To Councillor Sue Saddington, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council and the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Liaqat Ali.  Sue and her team at the County Council deserve special thanks for going the extra mile in their commitment and support over the past twelve months. As ever my thanks to my fellow Trustees for giving their time and support so freely and willingly.

Finally, we need more support from you.  Former Scholars are the life blood that continues to ensure the scholarship lives on. Your thoughts, ideas and feedback are essential to us. Most importantly, we now have funding for only one more year after this years scholars have travelled. Many of you have strong contacts or links into financial sources beyond our reach. Your thoughts and assistance in securing funding will be most helpful at this time. Please let me know of any leads you may have.

Best wishes for the year ahead.  Mick Burrows




After another successful year of applications and interviews, we are delighted to announce the successful candidates for 2019 Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarship. They include:

  • Henry Franklin, will be looking at modern methods of manufacturing in the construction industry to see what can be learnt and shared between our two countries,
  • Sam Preston, will be looking at US cities who are leading the way with becoming sustainable and help Nottingham become the first carbon neutral city in the UK.
  • Joe Dank, will be undertaking the Mayflower research project. The Mayflower project represents an exciting partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council as part of the Mayflower2020 campaign. Joe will be capturing the stories of Pilgrims, many of whom originated in Nottinghamshire.

Further details on the new scholars and their research projects will be in the next newsletter. Thanks to the 2nd interview panel of the Mayflower scholar were Sheridan Chilvers, Gabriel Strauss, Mandy Ramm (Notts CC) and Russ Blenkinsop and the panel for the main scholarship were Sheridan Chilvers, Susan Hallam, Cllr Sue Saddington, Cllr Yvonne Woodhead and Russ Blenkinsop. There were 5 candidates for the scholarships and the decisions were unanimous.

The scholars are putting together their usual 50-word statement, 1-page report, photo and video and these are available on the website under ‘Current Scholars’. The videos are on our YouTube channel. These materials will help us all advertise the scholarship – so if you prefer them in a different format or additional information then please let me know. An introductory 2 page leaflet on the scholarship is also available on the ‘About NRMTS’ page.




Roosevelt Connection.

The Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarship is delighted to announce President Franklin Roosevelt’s great granddaughter, Sarah Schoonmaker, will continue the long-standing legacy of cooperation between Nottinghamshire and the Roosevelt family. Sarah Schoonmaker said, “I am delighted to be a part of continuing the strong relationship between Nottinghamshire, the Roosevelt family and the United States”.


2019 Celebration Event

The 2019 Celebration Event will be taking place on Friday 5th July at Manners Arms, Knipton. We will be hearing from Ben Felstead, YMCA and Tori Harrison, Framework.

The event will start at 7pm with drinks and canopies from 6.45pm.


Sheridan Chilvers – 2011 Scholar

In November 2017, I started working at Futures, an educational organisation in Nottingham that delivers a broad range of careers and employability services to young people and adults including apprenticeships, family learning and careers advice. My role was focused on connecting businesses to schools, to inspire young people to explore different career pathways and opportunities. I was also tasked with organising the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Digital Skills show, which aimed promote digital careers, these events attracted hundreds of students.

In November 2018, I was promoted to Programme Manager: Education and Digital, where I now organise school focused activities including work experience, enterprise and employability days and the traditional interview skill days. As part of this new role, I have now taken on line management responsibilities for the first time, which presents a new challenge for me, but I look forward to the opportunity do develop leadership skills.

At the same time as starting the new role I was awarded an amazing opportunity to participate in the Future Leaders Nottingham professional development programme. The programme aims to make leadership in Nottinghamshire more diverse and representative by creating a network of talented people who inspire others and drive change. As part of the programme I received masterclasses in communications, leadership, project management, resilience, emotional intelligence and action learning. Through the programme, I worked on a project to develop a YouNG Future Leaders programme for 17 and 18 year olds.

Since returning from my Scholarship in 2012, I have been looking for opportunities to implement the knowledge and insight I’ve gained on social entrepreneurship. I recently launched the Young Innovators Competition, in collaboration with the University of Nottingham. It aims to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and tools to overcome challenges they may face personally, professionally, or in society in general. The students will be asked to develop a campaign, product or service that addresses or raises awareness to Stress, Anxiety, or Depression. The winning team from the competition will receive funding to expand their idea across Nottingham. This is an exciting project which could have a long-term positive impact on Nottingham, the East Midlands and eventually the UK.



Tori Harrison: My pursuit of philanthropy across America

I’m writing this update with much pride and gratitude from a small village very close to Mystic, Connecticut. There’s a rich tapestry of goodwill knitted together that has enabled me to take my first steps, and indeed months, in the United States. Although three months of study and travel alone in a new country can be challenging, there has hardly been moments where a smile has left the corners of my mouth, especially when I remind myself how I came to be here.

This is a good opportunity to extend deep thanks to the scholarship donors unknown to me who made my Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarshippossible by giving. Thanks also to my long-suffering friends and family who donated towards my own fundraising target, as it’s my profession we know that it isn’t the first or last time that I’ll “shake a bucket” in your direction but I am, as ever, very thankful.

Gratitude is also due to those who gave time, encouragement and shared knowledge as well as monetary support including my scholarship mentor Rachel Armitage, scholarship Treasurer Russ Blenkinsop, Historian Yvonne Armitage and my employer Framework, especially my Fundraising Manager Chris Senior. Many of you have a belief in me that really helped me to maintain belief in myself. I could not have achieved this pursuit of knowledge without you.

I’ll be sure to write again but with less than two weeks until returning to the UK I’d like to share some highlights with you. I’ve travelled across in the North, East, South, West and the centre of this vast country, I have visited approximately fifty non-profit organisations, attended a world-leading charity conference and met inspiring people who devote their entire being to making the world a better place. I had the honour of connecting personally with the Roosevelt family and meeting Sarah Schoonmaker, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s great-granddaughter. I have heard incredible music in churches, jazz-dens and on the streets. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers (especially those who have welcomed me into their homes) and the beauty of this sprawling land and I’ve vowed never, ever again to spend more than 60 hours continuously on a train.

Both professionally and outside of employment I’ve found there is a seemingly impenetrable spirit of so many American people that encourages them to tackle any obstacle. It is this feeling and willingness to share that has opened my eyes to the wonders of Yosemite National Park, the swamp-life and carnivals of Louisiana and provided exceptional knowledge that will improve the routes to my own philanthropic goals.

I have built a network of fundraising professionals along my way that I know I can now turn to for support, best-practice and sharing. The discussions I have lead and contributed to have given birth to new ideas and the space and time to think in new settings has been invaluable. I feel a new drive for fresh possibilities has been ignited in my mind and I look forward to beginning a new chapter of my career using my learnings to benefit my own work-ethic, my employer and all those we exist to support in Nottinghamshire and beyond.

I will return to the UK at the beginning of May, before then I’m going to squeeze in as much learning and experiences as physically possible.

You can email Tori with questions or comments at

You can see more images from the locations of Tori’s adventures on Instagram @the_auditorium or

Tori will be speaking at the Nottingham Digital Summit on July, 3rd:



The Scholarship goes on providing opportunities for local young people to make their own journey to transform their career, aspirations and self-confidence – on an unbroken path now trodden by over 150 scholars over 68 years.  In each newsletter we will bring you a story, pictures or memories from passed scholars.


A TRIBUTE TO JEAN COOPER ROBINSON who sadly passed on 9 January 2019 from her step daughter Valerie Pedlar and 1963 scholar Pamela Jarvis Burgass, reprinted with permission from Valerie Pedlar

I met Jean in 1953 when we were both awarded a Roosevelt Scholarship organised by the City of Nottingham. From that day we formed a friendship which lasted from then …until now. Our career paths were very different but that proved to be no hindrance to the closeness of our friendship. In fact her parents regarded our closeness as that of sisters. Jean devoted her chosen career to being a Speech Therapist. Such was her expertise and innovation in that field that her influence is felt and is applicable today. Her O.B.E was well deserved. Jean will be missed by one and all. I know she had a wonderful Christmas and New Year just before she left us. She has left behind many happy memories that we can recollect and that she would wish us all to do.

After the excitements of the Roosevelt scholarship, she worked in Nottinghamshire, in London and in Canada, where she taught post-graduate students at the University of Toronto. An article in the Nottinghamshire Guardian of 1965 relating to her appointment gives a snapshot of this bright young woman: after praising her progress in her career the writer says: ‘ But she is no “bluestocking”…She dances, sails, skis, and whoever heard of a speech therapist who went salmon fishing!’ Jean’s father was a keen fisherman taught her. A year later she was invited back to England to be Director of Studies at one of the speech therapy training schools in London, and then Principal of the National Hospital’s College of Speech Sciences. Maggie Snowling, who worked with her during these years says: ‘She was a pioneer; not only one of the first speech and language therapists to complete a doctorate…but she also negotiated and established the first large degree programme in Speech Sciences’. Maggie also says: ‘Perhaps our over-riding collective memory is of a leader who never looked flustered; always serene and elegantly dressed, gliding as if on invisible roller skates across the staff room’.

Jean decided to retire early and bought the Old Drill Hall in Topsham with her husband, who was then Chief Executive at the National Hospital. She turned her energies to new activities: bridge, travelling, entertaining. They both became involved as volunteers with the local Topsham museum and with NADFAS. She was chair of the local branch and then area chair. One of her great delights was going to hear Professor David Crystal, the eminent linguist, at the Dartington Way with Words. They had worked together a lot in London and he remembers Jean as ‘my oldest speech therapy mentor’. ‘I learned so much from her’, he says. ‘She will be hugely missed’.

Jean welcomed us all to her home; we could never visit often enough. She was intensely interested in our lives and in those of her friends and other people around her. She loved entertaining, and was a lively hostess and guest, a good listener as well as a lively – and opinionated! – talker. As Jean’s Parkinson’s disease, her failing sight and other ailments gradually worsened she refused to give in. ‘I don’t do old age,’ she announced not so long ago.

After News Year Day she was admitted to hospital where she died on 9 January. There was no time for farewells. She was as business like in leaving life as she had been in leading it. Jean: we shall miss you.




The scholarship is undergoing planning to make a number of changes in the coming months. If there are any alumni with specific skills that could help, then please get in touch with Russ on 07767-797-335. Specifically, we are looking for help with taxation, marketing and legal issues.

The Scholarship is now funded largely by gifts made by our unique network of Alumni – from the returning scholars who donate each month through a standing order, to the couple who now give more than £2,000 a year. Please consider joining them if you can, both in memory and tribute of your own scholarship and of the many special people who made your journey something you will always treasure.  To become part of the Alumni network who now enable others in this way, find a simple form below to set up a regular gift via standing order, (and also a gift aid form to enable the scholarship to reclaim tax on every penny we can).

A NEW DONATE Paypal button is now available on the website. The button is a HASSLE-FREE option that will enable you to make a one-off payment or a regular donation without having to cut, complete and send a form.

There’s no reason not to donate now 😊


Donation and Gift Aid Form

Name and address of your bank (including postcode)



Instructions to your bank:  Please make payments and debit my/our account number:

…………………………………………………, Sort Code: ………………………………………. to the account of Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship (Account 96876077, Nat West Bank, Nottingham City Branch, Unit 27, Victoria Centre, Nottingham NG1 3QD, Sort code 60-80-09) with the sum of: £10, £25, £50 Other £ ……. per month until further notice, starting on …………………………… or as soon thereafter. Please quote reference …………………………………………….(to be inserted by NRMTS),

In order to Gift Aid your donation please tick the box below.

 I want to Gift Aid my donation and any donations I make in the future or have made in the past 4 years to Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship (Charity number 512941). I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

Signature(s): ……………………………………………………….. Date: …………………………… (today’s date)


Your name (capitals please) (Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms): ………………………………………………………….

Address (capitals please): ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


…………………………………………………………………….. Postcode: …………………………………………

Please return this form to NRMTS at the following address:

Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship

c/o Treasurer – Russ Blenkinsop, Willow Cottage, 8 The Corner, Lowdham, Notts NG14 7AE


Newsletter December 2018

Welcome from the Chairman Mick Burrows

My April update covered a wide range of activities and events, and there are a few further developments to share with you. Firstly, I was delighted to see Ben and Tori selected as this year’s scholars. Since being appointed as Chairman I have been impressed with the commitment, enthusiasm and calibre of scholars past and present, clearly the selection process is working well.

We celebrated in style at this year’s event in June, once again our sincere thanks to Gareth Bartsch and his family for their fantastic support and generous hospitality. The Celebration event enabled us to hear from existing and past scholars, the experiences, developments, networks and knowledge gained are very powerful and left us all with a sense of what a unique opportunity our scholarship creates. It was also great to have Cllr Sue Saddington (Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council) and Cllr Liaqat Ali (Lord Mayor Nottingham) taking time out of their busy agenda to be with us.

Courtesy of a former scholar, Chris Aylett, who is now the CEO of Motorsport Industry Association, Russ, Sheridan and myself had the pleasure of meeting with our Rushcliffe MP, Ken Clarke. Chris remains a keen advocate and facilitated what was an extremely positive meeting. One outcome was the drive to develop an increased marketing and communication plan as we acknowledged that despite existing since the 1940’s the Scholarship remains fairly unknown across Nottinghamshire. An offer to make contact with the US Embassy and the American Ambassador was proposed by Ken Clarke. Once we have the right marketing vehicles this will be taken up. If any past scholar has expertise in this area please contact Russ. Our thanks to Chris for his timely intervention, advice and support as it is greatly valued.

Meantime, the Management Team and Trustees continue to raise the profile through networking opportunities and known contacts. Please let us know if you know of any opportunities to help share our story as we have a number of scholars and Trustees who would be happy to attend and lead presentations. We continue to pursue a number of potential developments building on our links with the two Universities, large local businesses and a number of local entrepreneurs who have expressed strong interest.

Finally, three items. Firstly, to help with our marketing, you will recall that I asked in the April newsletter if any past scholars had any testimonials, in particular any testimonials that highlight the benefit to a business for supporting a scholar or any other ideas or suggestions that you feel we might consider. Please keep sending in your thoughts. Secondly, at the last Trustee meeting we agreed to improve the reach of our advertising, we could do with your help with contacting local organisations. We know that a named contact rather than a cold call secures much greater impact. Please let Russ know which names/organisations you have contact with. We can then arrange for the flyer and a supporting letter to be sent to any participating organisation with your help.

Thirdly, my thanks to all those of you who are giving their time, energy and commitment in support of our aims and ambitions.

Mick Burrows


2018 Celebration Event

The annual Celebration Event took place on Friday June 29th 2018 at Manners Arms, Knipton. At the event we congratulated and welcomed our two new scholars Tori Harrison and Ben Felstead into the Roosevelt Club family. We also welcomed back our returning scholars Gareth Morgan and Miles Waghorn, who gave fabulous talks with energy and excitement about their experiences in the USA.
The event was also attended by our civic guest Cllr Sue Saddington, Chairman of the County Council and Cllr Liaqat Ali, Lord Mayor of Nottingham.



Meeting with Kenneth Clarke MP and Chris Alyett, Alumni Scholar & CEO of the Motorsport Association.

A meeting took place with Rushcliffe MP, Ken Clarke, to discuss his views and ideas to move the Scholarship forward. The meeting was facilitated by Chris Aylett, Roosevelt Scholarship and now the CEO Motorsport Industry Association. All attendees agreed that the Roosevelt Scholarship was unique and should continue…but we need to articulate our story and its impact.
Picture above: Mick Burrows, Chris Aylett, Ken Clarke, Russ Blenkinsop, and Sheridan Chilvers.



The application window for the 2019 Roosevelt Applications will begin from January 1st. Prospective candidates will have until Friday 1st March to complete and submit their application form via the website. Initial interviews will take place on Tuesday 19th March, with the final interview taking place on 25th April 2019. Please signpost prospective candidates to the Roosevelt Scholarship website :

Let Russ know if you can help spread the word

Key Dates:
Friday 1st March 2019 – Closing date for applications
Tuesday 19th March 2019 – Initial Interviews date
Thursday 25th April 2019 – AGM and Final Interviews date


Angelena Efstathiou- 2017

This time last year I set off on my adventure across the U.S.A (and Canada) and since returning in February 2018 I have been busy with Nottinghamshire Bat Group and with completing my Masters degree at Nottingham Trent University. I was elected Chair of the Bat Group in March this year and since then have taken on the co-ordination of the Group whilst also helping to deliver the final stages of our Heritage Lottery Funded project. In the beginning of November we launched the Bats of Nottinghamshire Book (available here – and I am involved in writing the Species Action Plan for Bats in Nottinghamshire! I also had to go back to Malawi over the summer to collect more data for my research project on ‘The Impacts of Roost Exclusion on the Foraging Ecology of the White Bellied Free Tailed Bat’ which I am now working on getting published! It has been a busy year so far and I am hoping in 2019 to use more of my skills and knowledge gained on the Scholarship to improve nature conservation in Nottinghamshire!


Gareth Morgan – 2017

I’ve been back for almost a year now and much of that has been spent working on Hoodwinked: Robin’s Tales. This is a Nottingham-wide arts and literacy programme which over 13000 children aged 5-11 in 53 Nottingham City Primary Schools participated in over the course of the summer term (May-July 2018) both in and out of school.
This has seen the creation of 56 amazing BookBenches which the schools designed, decorated and incorporated into their curriculum throughout the first half of the term. These BookBenches were then displayed across Nottingham and its neighbourhoods for the second half of the summer term and over the summer holiday break in libraries, leisure centres and shopping centres. As part of the programme, the project’s partners, including our headline education sponsor Boots UK, supported and engaged schools, their pupils and staff in a renewed push to create a culture of “reading for pleasure” in their everyday learning.


Sarah Taylor – 2016

Since returning from the scholarship, I have embedded some of my findings in to Green Scene Education which has helped to enrich our service. It was a fantastic opportunity to see how others are urban farming and provided lots of new ideas that I have been able to adopt. One of the direct impacts the trip has had on my business is the decision to convert to a Community Interest Company after visiting many Not-for-profits in The States. The inspiration I drew from the trip has been incredible and I hope to launch my own Nottingham Urban Farm in the near future! Upon my return, I met my partner and made a decision to take a year out and head back to North America to live and work in Toronto. I have recently returned home and miss it dearly. However, I have fire in my belly to grow Green Scene Education and have many plans in the pipeline for working with various Nottingham organisations to create a greener future!





The scholarship is undergoing planning to make a number of changes in the coming months. If there are any alumni with specific skills that could help, then please get in touch with Russ on 07767-797-335. Specifically, we are looking for help with taxation, marketing and legal issues.

The Scholarship is now funded largely by gifts made by our unique network of Alumni – from the returning scholars who donate each month through a standing order, to the couple who now give more than £2,000 a year. Please consider joining them if you can, both in memory and tribute of your own scholarship and of the many special people who made your journey something you will always treasure.  To become part of the Alumni network who now enable others in this way, find a simple form below to set up a regular gift via standing order, (and also a gift aid form to enable the scholarship to reclaim tax on every penny we can).

A NEW DONATE button is now available on the website. The button is a HASSLE-FREE option that will enable you to make a one-off payment or a regular donation without having to cut, complete and send a form.

There’s no reason not to donate now 😊


Donate to us through BT MyDonate

Update from Ben Felstead – 2018 SCHOLAR  and

The Roosevelt Travelling Memorial Scholarship has been a journey that I will never forget. The trip was a life changing experience and I would like to show my appreciation and share thanks with all of the Members of the board, the past scholars I interacted and the Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarship family as a whole for gifting me this opportunity. I would like to especially thank Russ Blenkinsop and Sheridan Chilvers for all of the hard work they put into my Roosevelt Scholarship. The Scholarship not only reached all of my expectations whilst in the States but prior to the trip it has also attracted my interest towards local politics through the engagement with County Hall, the County Mayor and City Major, and it has also provided me with a new enhanced obsession for Nottingham – our City and Counties history and our current and future affairs.

Travelling through the United States of America visiting (14) States, (34) organisations, (7) hosts and host families and everything that I did in-between definitely achieved my ambitions of seeing a diverse range of culture, community and environment. Throughout the scholarship, I explored a vast range of community arts and their application. I visited organisations that use music, visual arts, poetry, opera, digital arts, dance, theatre, photography and film, and I worked alongside organisations that delivered these art forms in a range of contexts, tackling social, environmental, cultural and racial issues that affect people within their local communities.

In all instances, I witnessed the artist as a great communicator, a vital medium that when placed in a community setting can have a profound effect on the mindset and wellbeing of the community they work within. Overall I was blown away at the level in which community arts are delivered, funded and evaluated across the States. The organisations I visited were at the forefront of tackling, raising awareness and breaking down barriers within political and social issues and this was honoured through the high level of private funding that support the arts and non-for profit organisations throughout America.

The Scholarship has provided me with new skills, knowledge and an overseas network of like-minded community practitioners. It has refreshed my passion and drive to champion the arts as a method to engage community groups and socially excluded groups, and to use the arts to tackle wider issues on a local, national and global scale. I have so many new ideas and visions of where I would like the directions of my community arts work to develop too and now have a Trans-Atlantic support group of like-minded professionals that I can call upon for ideas, practice sharing and also collaborative projects.

The Scholarship allowed me to step back and observe community arts in a new context and environment. It exposed the value the arts can have upon the individual and local communities as a collective and it showed me the power of the artist as a communicator and community mentor. The scholarship has refreshed my vision of how I can to continue to develop my ideas and my work within the community sector; strengthening and supporting socially excluded members of the community in Nottingham. The arts are so important in shaping our community, promoting expressionism, providing a lifeline and support network and offering a platform for unheard voices.

Throughout the scholarship, I interviewed most of the community arts practitioners, organisations and participants I worked with. I am currently working on putting this together as a documentary. I focused my interviews on exploring what community meant to them, what were the main issues impacting their local community and how they felt that the arts could strengthen and support these issues. The main issues that were highlighted in the interviews were very similar to the issues that face us in Nottingham. Homelessness, Gang Culture, Gentrification and Displacement, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, Physical Health, Environmental Detachment, Environmental Issues, Racial Discrimination and Segregation, Immigration, Underserved Community Facilities and Areas, Health Care Access and Social Inclusion.

The entire trip was amazing, and all of the organisations I visited inspired and educated me in many different areas. At Totem Star I saw the power of having positive mentors from the arts in the lives of young people from underserved communities. I witnessed Urban Artworks and their work towards liberating young people from underserved backgrounds to take ownership of their City and in the process to earn money from their efforts. The Delridge Arts Festival offered a perfect example of how the Arts – Music, Film, Photography and Visual Arts can facilitate and ignite this interaction and build a passion towards reconnecting with our natural surroundings. Supporting our individual well-being and act as a platform where education, preservation and exploration of pressing environmental issues can be explored. Creativity Explored taught me the value of showcasing participants work, enforcing my ideologies around everyone already being an artist – that they do not have to work tirelessly at learning to be an artist, more just being involved and the production of creative work mean you are already an artist. The LAPD taught me a lot about community activism and how the Arts can present, explore and showcase community issues. In the same light, UCEPP focused on educating and supporting homeless residents from Skidrow on the local politics and systems that so drastically affect their lives. Through doing this they empower the community members to take an active role in trying to positively develop their situation.

I learnt so much from Chris Jonas about the ethos of his organisation Little Globe and also around their approach to their community artists personal development. Wisefool presented to me how we can use the arts alongside community and community issues to lobby for equality, change and fairness within the community. Say Si exampled the 10 rules of community work that came out of the Wallace Foundations report. Rules such as; Executive directors that have a deep, public commitment to the arts, Professional, practising artists as teachers and Dedicated, inspiring and welcoming spaces in which young people can practice their arts. And finally SOUP was an extremely inspirational visit for me. The organisation showed me a way to provide funding for grassroots organisations, individuals and ideas. It provides this platform by focusing on the individuals within the local community and financially supporting their ideas on how to shape their own communities through crowdfunding. These are just a handful of examples of my findings and the journey I travelled during my Roosevelt scholarship.

Throughout my time in the States I have met organisations that fight tirelessly for social and racial justice, organisations that continue to fight for basic sanitisation rights for the forgotten and underserved members of the community. I have met organisations that use the arts to create safe places for members of the community, people that did not already have a safe place where they feel comfortable to learn, create and build positive relationships and express themselves. Safe spaces were one parent of a woman with disabilities said was a space that was the “Lifeline and glue that held her daughter’s life together”.

I have visited organisations that work for young people and families that need extra support. The young people that go off the radar. The forgotten young people from areas that don’t seem to have the same privilege and opportunity as the ’other places’. They don’t have the same schools, the same hospitals and doctors, the same transport links, the same access to food or even the same treatment by the police. I have worked with organisations that try and try to give these young people some extra opportunity, some extra support and in some cases even financial support for their participation. I have worked with organisations that are working hard to re-establish the arts back into schools. I have worked with organisations that offer a platform to the community through the Arts – whether that’s through voice, through painting a mural, planning arts, through dance, theatre, photography and film. And I have worked with organisations that reconnect people to the natural world around us to help develop and maintain a positive mental health and wellbeing.

Throughout all of this, I have learnt that it is the Community Artist that facilitates this. I have learnt the power of an artist using their passion and talent to support and creatively nurture the people within local communities, offering them a family, a friendship network, a new perspective and a new perspective.

From this, I have learnt about the importance to pursue the training and development of artists within the community. To champion the artist as the medium between educational, government, authority systems and our local communities.

I have learnt about the value that must be put on a community artists’ work and the power that the arts have in transforming people’s lives. One of the key points of the Wallace Foundation report from Say Si was to value the arts and value the development of the arts within their community. The other key point was to provide relevant training, development and support the artistic practice of the arts pedagogues delivering the sessions, workshops. With the arts being cut and suffering in educational systems – arts practice within the community must bridge this gap – for this the deliverers of the arts need to develop not only their community practice but also maintain and develop and push the boundaries of their own practice in order for their own work and consequently their community work not becoming stale.

During the Scholarship I have delivered a number of sessions and seminars where I focused my delivery towards my work as a community artist. I wanted to talk to the young people and hopefully inspire them towards seeing community art as a career path. I have been approached by Nottingham Trent University to do a talk to their Youth & Community BA Students in January 2019, where I intend on talking about the above and also the importance of community artists and leaders to explore social and racial injustice.

My plans post the scholarship are to bring together artists from within Nottingham and show my documentary alongside a talk and then an open discussion. I also want to launch C.A.N (Community Artist Network) and build a database of artists, running ’creative’ days where groups of multi-discipline artists come together and take on various arts challenges. For my work at the YMCA the scholarship has provided  me a wealth of ideas and plans for potential projects and programs that I will be working towards trying to develop and integrate into our department.

Throughout my travels, I used a service called Servas to connect and find hosts within the United States. Servas International is a not-for-profit, non-governmental federation of national Servas groups, encompassing an international network of hosts and travellers. The purpose of the network is to help build world peace, goodwill and understanding by providing opportunities for personal contacts among people of different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities.

Servas ended up being the glue that held my Scholarship and travels together. Throughout the trip, I stayed with 7 different Servas hosts. Every host was absolutely amazing and so hospitable to my visit. They not only hosted me but all of the hosts actively helped me in the planning of my scholarship, connecting with a range of local organisations. All of my hosts really did treat me like family. They introduced me to local foods, introduced me to their friends and family and also took me to all the best local attractions, things to see and community events.

Overall being able to visit so many organisations and also being given the opportunity to deliver workshops and talks throughout the scholarship has boosted my confidence and also my vision for myself as community arts, artists and personalities. Navigating through the States, organisations transport, travel, accommodations and all of the visits has shown that my project management, time management and also my perseverance and passion to push through and to complete a task – is a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. It has refreshed my ambitions and passions for striving towards helping people and pushing for change, equality, social/racial justice and environmental issues. At the beginning of the scholarship, before I had even travelled to the States we got the opportunity to visit County Hall and also to meet the Mayor. This introduction to local politics is something that I would like to get more involved in. The scholarship has inspired me and opened up a new passion for local politics, something that on a national and global level I have always shied away from, as I didn’t believe in one voice being able to make the change. I now see that with the work I deliver and passion I have for supporting and working for various communities, local politics would be a great area for me to explore where we can make direct changes to issues right in front of us.



The Scholarship goes on providing opportunities for local young people to make their own journey to transform their career, aspirations and self-confidence – on an unbroken path now trodden by over 150 scholars over 68 years.  In each newsletter we will bring you a story, pictures or memories from passed scholars.

ALUMNI – Chris Aylett

I can honestly say now, some 40 years later, that winning the scholarship was a life-changing experience for me. I knew nothing of the United States, and took this chance to travel as widely as I possibly could, to as many States from East to West, North to South, to experience as wide a range of activities as possible. I spoke at dinners, met new business contacts, made friends with people who remain friends ever since, and gained more first-hand experience of the real United States than many of my American friends have done in a lifetime.
Directly from speaking at dinners, I was approached by an NYSE company, who later engaged me to look after mergers and acquisitions in Europe. I took this job at aged 24 and they admitted that it was purely having heard me speak whilst as a Nottingham Roosevelt Scholar, that they took a chance on me. This career path led me into an entirely new area of business which kept me occupied and busy throughout my life – and led me to my current position. I know of no other scholarship that has the power to change lives and I admire the work of the entire team and supporters of this excellent scheme.


ALUMNI – June Wilson

My name is June Wilson. In 1929, I was born and raised in West Bridgford and went to the local Grammar school. Then I became a hairdresser. In those days, it was a five-year course, three years as an apprentice and two years as an improver. Then I was considered a hairdresser. English had been my best subject at school so people presumed I would become a secretary or a teacher, but I became “just a hairdresser” as some people described me.

In 1955, I heard about the Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship and I was fascinated. I applied and said “As a hairdresser, am I eligible to apply?” and gave a brief history of my life so far. I received a telegram a week or two later telling me where and when to go for the first interview, which I did. I heard there were fifty six of us applying so was amazed to hear I had made it to the short list of thirteen.

I studied even harder to learn about the U.S.A. and about a month later, I attended my second interview at Nottingham Council House. The whole board was there, and they all asked me questions. I went home overwhelmed and soon the phone rang. It was Mr. George Spence, the chairman of the board. He said “I thought I’d put you out of your misery and tell you, you will be travelling on the Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to New York on August 11th with the two men who have also won. You’ll be having dinner with Eleanor Roosevelt at her home”. He gave me a bit more information and said I’d get the details later.

Imagine hearing news like that! From then on, my life changed. I had to decide where in the U.S.A. I would be travelling and by what means, bus, train, plane or boat. Then I took my information to Cooks Travel, the selected travel agency, who figured out how much of my scholarship funds I would need to cover the travel costs and how much I would have left over for everyday living and accommodation. It sounded daunting. I hoped I’d manage my funds successfully.

In August, we three sailed across the Atlantic to New York. We went to our hotel in Times Square, an exciting and busy place. Unfortunately, Eleanor Roosevelt had gone to Tokyo on business, so her son John and his wife Anne had us for dinner in Eleanor’s townhouse.

The two male scholars left New York after one night in our hotel. They were on their way to live their adventures. I stayed a few more days. I had met a few people who had invited me to various events, so I experienced life the way Americans lived it. It was amazing!

Eventually, I moved on northwards. When I got near the border of Canada, I couldn’t resist seeing Niagara Falls. I was on a bus and a ticket collector came along asking for our visas. For some reason, he had to rewrite mine. Originally, it gave me six months to stay in the U.S.A. When I looked at my new visa, he had added an extra month. I told him and he said “Oh well, you’d like an extra month wouldn’t you? I used every day of it. For seven months, I wandered all over the U.S.A. having the most extraordinary experiences, very often not knowing where I would be sleeping that night. I was invited so often to stay with people I met, which saved me a lot of money.

I had Joined the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, NAACP, and, whenever I could, I went to their meetings. They always ended up singing. They were so talented musically. I loved to hear them. By the time I got back to New York, the day before my ship Queen Mary sailed, I’d had seven months dealing with whatever situations presented themselves. I had about twelve dollars left. I had booked myself into a cheap Y.W.C.A. in the dock area. With no more appointments to keep, I wandered the local streets.

There was a man walking ahead of me. He looked familiar. I got closer and saw that it was John Roosevelt. He remembered me and said his mother had been asking about me. He asked me when I would be going home. I said “tomorrow”. He went to a phone booth nearby. He came back and said, ” You’re seeing my mother this afternoon. She’s going to fit you in between her appointments”

I couldn’t believe it! I walked to the allotted place and actually had a lovely conversation with Eleanor for about twenty minutes. Imagine! What an end to my trip! Next day, I had just enough dollars to get a taxi to my ship. Back in Nottingham, I had quite a few opportunities to show and tell people about my experiences and maybe help other young people to try their luck at winning the scholarship.

By this time, I was a different person, more confident and experienced in many ways. I went on to start my own business as a hairdresser and eventually as an image consultant. In my old age, I’m really enjoying myself and often think of how my life was improved very much for the better by that wonderful, exciting Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship.




The scholarship is undergoing planning to make a number of changes in the coming months. If there are any alumni with specific skills that could help, then please get in touch with Russ on 07767-797-335. Specifically, we are looking for help with taxation, marketing and legal issues.

The Scholarship is now funded largely by gifts made by our unique network of Alumni – from the returning scholars who donate each month through a standing order, to the couple who now give more than £2,000 a year. Please consider joining them if you can, both in memory and tribute of your own scholarship and of the many special people who made your journey something you will always treasure.  To become part of the Alumni network who now enable others in this way, find a simple form below to set up a regular gift via standing order, (and also a gift aid form to enable the scholarship to reclaim tax on every penny we can).

A NEW DONATE button is now available on the website. The button is a HASSLE-FREE option that will enable you to make a one-off payment or a regular donation without having to cut, complete and send a form.

There’s no reason not to donate now 😊


Donate to us through BT MyDonate

Newsletter April 2018

Update from Chairman Mick Burrows

I thought it might be useful to update you on what’s been happening over the past five months or so across the scholarship.

Firstly, I would like to thank those of you who have given so generously. Contributions and support have arrived in many different and varied forms. I include, very kind individuals who have contributed financial support, also those past scholars who have given very valued advice, suggestions and personal offers to support. I would also like to thank all the scholars who have so brilliantly represented the scholarship in the media, on the radio, at a wide range of business and other local clubs. You have really given meaning and purpose to the aims and benefits of the scholarship in a very positive and professional manner.

I also want to thank my fellow Trustees who help govern and guide the scholarship. I value the time and dedication given by Sheridan, Ed, Gab, and Gareth who all run very dynamic businesses and the support and enthusiasm from Keith with the US perspective. It’s really valuable having the support of the Chairman of the County Council, I know Cllr John Handley is very busy but gives his time very generously to us. We also value the presence of the Lord Mayor Cllr Mike Edwards. I also thank Cllr Yvonne Woodhead who is now a Trustee and very generously dedicated her local fund to the scholarship and Cllr Merlita Bryan for her support on local radio.

Most importantly, the Scholarship continues to develop and deliver thanks to Russ and the small but incredibly effective management team who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure everything happens.

We still face a significant financial challenge. We continue to remain unsustainable due to very challenging financial climate. We have however had some very generous individual contributions which will enable support for two scholars this year.  Our financial proposals move us away from public sector support to individual and corporate support. We have met with a number of bodies and organisations so far without fruition. We are now preparing a more dynamic and collective approach to revisit large Corporate businesses.

We continue to pursue positive relationships with local organisations and bodies. Many of these are based on individual approaches and networks including Business Clubs, Universities, The Bromley Library etc.

Last year’s scholars have further reinforced the tremendous benefit and value the Scholarship provides. Building on this experience we have slightly altered the selection process adding greater challenge and seeking stronger returns from the successful applicants. This year has witnessed another very strong field of potential scholars, final interviews take place later this month.

Finally, our AGM is re-scheduled for May. Trustees will be asking what else we need to do to ensure the continuation of the scholarship. We all believe our relationship with the US is increasingly important in light of all the dynamics we currently face as a nation. We also believe that we should be aiming to support five scholars a year in return for the overall effort applied.  This requires a sustainable income stream of around £10k per annum.

Be assured we as Trustees will do whatever we can to secure whatever finances can be levered. However, to best present our case to local companies we would value any testimonials you as past scholars may be able to provide, in particular any testimonials that highlight the benefit to a business for supporting a scholar. I look forward to your feedback, as ever we readily welcome any other ideas or suggestions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to contact Russ directly, email or phone 07767 -797335 with your ideas.

Best wishes







In April 2017, I was awarded the Nottinghamshire Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship. I remember the phone call and I was in disbelief! As the excitement settled down the task ahead became even more apparent, I thought of all the organisations and places I wanted to visit. My eleven weeks in the States (and a hop over the border to Canada) took me across eleven State lines, and into the homes of many kind people.

I arrived in the USA at LAX, Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Day (23rd November). I visited nearly 30 cities and  managed to jam pack my schedule with meetings, visiting researchers, learning from NGO’s and businesses as well as going into schools with local bat species. My aims were to understand more on species recovery programs and youth engagement with wildlife.

I met with researchers and curators from the Los Angeles Natural History Museum; San Diego NHM and the New York NHM where I learnt more about school programs, their delivery and citizen science. Although I never made it to Yellowstone NP, I did get to meet with top researchers at Yale who have been studying the wolf re introductions there for years to learn more about the species themselves and their interaction with the ecosystem. I also got to go to the Wolf Conservation Centre in upstate New York, who participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Recovery Plan for two critically endangered wolf species, the Mexican grey wolf and the red wolf. The WCC also has an education program of both onsite and offsite visits through which they engage with schools about wolf biology, the ecological benefits of wolves and other large predators.

Each State is so different with its policies and funds that it is more like the countries of the EU. Species legislation varies as do protection measures and the same if true of the school educational curriculum. It was interesting to see the cultural differences between States and even language use. This creates different challenges for organisations across the USA. In Michigan I helped in delivery of school education programs with Organization for Bat Conservation. This was to kids from the age of six up to sixteen. One of the schools was a strict Christian school and so it was interesting delivering a program on bats there as we were not to speak much about evolution or better yet at all.

I only truly have understood the vastness of the country now I have travelled from West to East Coast. The landscapes are also fantastic, on the day I visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona we managed to travel through five ecosystems in a day. I was not expecting to see forest in Arizona! It wasn’t just about wildlife though; the art museums and street art were exceptional in places and the food and music too. Texas really surprised me for its great food, lively atmosphere, street art and of course huge bat populations in several areas. I’d love to go back and see the bat bridge in Austin at its peak in summer. It was my first ever Christmas away from my family, I spent the day birdwatching and at the beach. I also managed to stay with three past Scholars as well as a Roosevelt family member. Dr Anna Roosevelt, from the Theodore lineage, and professor in Anthropology at the University of Illinois.

Overall the Scholarship helped me develop so many skills as well as making a more courageous person. I made so many new friends and connections over there I can’t wait to collaborate and see what the future holds. I have already hosted back one of my hosts from America, Christy who I stayed with Austin.



Miles Waghorn – “A reunion of business and pleasure”

As we approach 8 months since I returned from the US, there have been many advances, but there is one that sticks out as being the most influential. In some ways it’s flown by, but in others it’s been jam-packed with progress and feels like a long time ago indeed.

Whilst researching who to meet with on my trip, I recalled a LinkedIn Message from a US-based tech company which specialises in helping seniors benefit from technology. I quickly got back in touch and was passed on to the founder of the company. Like many people I reached out to, he was interested in my research subject and intrigued in why I was coming to the States, but understandably I was not at the top of his agenda.

After struggling to be in the same city at the same time, I eventually secured a Skype meeting with him. They were at their Silicon Valley HQ whilst I was in the dreary lobby of a Houston hotel. From the second we started talking, we both seemed to question why we had not spoken sooner. There was a clear alignment of passions to help older people live a better life and reconnect them to loved ones and the world around us.

After months of discussion about how we could work together, in October of last year we met in (a much nicer) hotel lobby, this time in London. We got to hold their fantastic product for the first time and begin to piece together how our commercial relationship may take place, as well as discuss the hilarious cultural differences between the USA and UK (he ordered a single malt scotch whiskey, which ended up being a single measure of Bells!) Fast-forward to April 2018 and I’ve just got back from meeting up with them in Manchester. It’s so incredible to have someone fly halfway across the world from what was born out of a chance LinkedIn message.

As we’re getting towards the final stage of securing our relationship, this could go down in Roosevelt scholarship history. Not only as a fantastic transatlantic partnership, but a way that thousands of older people across the UK will benefit from technology brought over from the USA, as a direct result of my trip.

Unfortunately like most business deals, I cannot say any more about the product or company until ‘the ink is dry’, but even if it doesn’t come through, the connections I’ve made will be life-changing for me and other Nottinghamshire seniors, as well as helping my company TechSilver employ and grow in the local area.



Gareth Morgan

In October and November last year, I travelled from New York to San Francisco as one of the 2017 Nottingham Roosevelt scholars. My aim was to work with literary and literacy organisations across the US who support the learning of children in elementary grades (7-11, equivalent of primary phase/KS2). In my two months in the States, I volunteered with 27 literacy organisations, 1 university and one Presidential library (no prizes for guessing which one). This included visiting the grave of DH Lawrence in Taos, New Mexico, and Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, our sister city in the Creative Cities Network. I took the perhaps unorthodox approach, in an attempt to keep my carbon footprint for the trip low, to not take any internal flights on the trip too – clocking up over 7000 miles on Greyhound buses, Amtrak, Ubers and blagged/incredibly generous lifts. I also handed out an inordinate amount of Robin Hood hats to hosts, friends and organisations I worked with.

My route was plotted around the 826 Network of literacy programmes/esoteric shops – their pirate/super hero/time travel stores helping fund their education projects! As such I visited 826 NYC & The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store, 826 DC & Tivoli’s Astounding Magical Supply Store, 826 Chicago & the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Store, 826 LA & the Echo Park and Mar Vista Time Travel Marts and 826 Valencia (San Francisco) and the Pirate Supply Store // the Tenderloin Centre and King Carl’s Emporium. This/these organisations were instrumental in the development of my thinking around what could be the Nottingham equivalent and I am in the process of writing a strategic development plan and setting out what our USP would be – did someone say Robin Hood store….?

826 was not the only organisation that I engaged with and from taking specially trained “reading dogs” into elementary schools in South Chicago to devising and reading stories with children in West Dallas, I discovered more and more about the differences, the similarities, the things we can learn and the things I’m eternally grateful for existing in the country that will

It wasn’t all work: I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Kelly from university in Modesto, CA, and Halloween with my cousin Tina in Alton, IL. I spent a sunny few days with the wonderfully affable 1977 scholar Ansar Haroun and his family in San Diego and paid visits to FDR and Mrs Roosevelt memorials in New York, Hyde Park and Washington – digging through the Roosevelt Archives too, finding many hidden gems from the scholarship’s history and many telegrams from Mrs Roosevelt to our scholarship secretary. I also visited Arlington Cemetery to visit the memorial to 503 US Airborne who were stationed at Wollaton Hall ahead to the Allied invasion of occupied France in 1944.

America is held up as a “land of opportunity”. For me, this opportunity was to eat burritos or ribs for every meal I could afford, and WalMart for everything else. I am sadly still unable to find diet root beer or Mountain Dew or Corn Nuts very easily in the UK – bad for my taste buds, but probably good for my cholesterol.

Since landing back in the UK in December, I’ve managed to pick up some work off the back of the scholarship (I’m a freelancer so the trip was one of uncertainty on my return with no guaranteed job to slot back into) which is allowing me to use elements of the pedagogy and engagement ideas with 53 primary schools in Nottingham that are taking part in the project I’m managing. Plus, I’ve been meeting with teacher networks, libraries, national charities and Nottingham City Council about implementing some of the expertise, not least the children’s learning continuum that I discovered working with Read On Arizona in Phoenix. This could hugely expand the scope of the city’s engagement with children’s reading development, expanding the age range worked with from 0-5 to 0-8. I’ve also been invited to the International Dolly Parton Imagination Library Conference 2018 by their International Director Angie who I met in Pigeon Forge, TN.  I also hope to visit places I could make work in the timing of my trip: Boston and their 826 centre and Big Foot Research Institute there, Seattle, now a UNESCO City of Literature, and returning to San Francisco for the 826 development seminar to support the launching of what could become an 826-inspired space in Nottingham.




Update on 2018 Application Process by Russ Blenkinsop

The eight short-listed applicants for 2018 were all very strong candidates and serious contenders for the Scholarship. They included a barrister, recording artist/teacher, fundraiser, self-employed artists and youth workers.

Four have been selected to go through to the final interview with the Trustees on Thursday April 26th. One of the applicants also reached this final stage last year. All are aware that we are only offering 6-week scholarships (with a £1500 stipend, up to £200 for insurance and a round trip air fare to New York). All four have said they would accept the shorter scholarship and would look to fund raise to extend the trip to three months.

The interview panel consisted of Rachel Armitage, Miles Waghorn, Gareth Morgan, Liz Blenkinsop and Russ Blenkinsop. Three of the panel are self-employed and spent a very long day listening to the most interesting people and their projects and then painstakingly deciding who should go through and what appropriate words to say to those who were unsuccessful.  Thank you all.

The time slots and questions were improved from last year and application process continues to evolve to ensure successful candidates will represent the Scholarship, their employer and Nottinghamshire to the highest standard.


BBC Radio Nottingham’s Mayflower 2020 Quilt

A quilt showcasing 400 years of Nottinghamshire’s history was donated as a special gift to the United States. It was created by the Nottinghamshire branch of the Quilters’ Guild, highlighting the origins of the Pilgrim Fathers. BBC Radio Nottingham has been campaigning to honour the likes of William Brewster, from Scrooby, who sailed on the Mayflower in 1620.

Although the Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarship did not feature on the quilt, it highlights the diverse history and associations between the USA and Nottingham.



Mayflower 2020 Campaign

The Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarship is working to develop a partnership with the Mayflower 2020 campaign. The campaign marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth UK to Plymouth Massachusetts. This is a unique opportunity to commemorate the legacy of the passengers and crew who undertook the journey and to highlight their stories and heritage, which is embedded in communities across the UK, US and Netherlands.

The Mayflower 400 programme has been created to leverage this opportunity, aligning 11 core destinations in England with wider local, national and international partners and over 10 million US citizens who descended from the Mayflower passengers. It will deliver a world-class series of events, public art and wider content that will commemorate this exceptional voyage and provide a major ongoing impact across the partnership, knitting together communities, inspiring creativity and culture, driving economic growth, and promoting understanding and education.

Mayflower 400 will champion the values of freedom, faith and personal liberty that informed the original journey, and which continue to be articulated in the special relationship between the UK, US and Netherlands. At the same time, the commemoration will recognise the impact of the Mayflower’s journey on Native American communities and address themes of colonialism and migration, providing an accurate, inclusive account of the Mayflower’s legacy.

Scrooby & Babworth, Nottinghamshire

The leading religious Separatists who voyaged to America in 1620 were originally from the Bassetlaw area of Nottinghamshire, where their beliefs were shaped. Regarded as dangerous religious renegades who rejected fundamental principles of the State and the established Church of England, they worshipped in secret to avoid arrest and persecution.

Among them was William Brewster who was brought up in Scrooby. Inspired by the radical words of Richard Clifton, the rector of nearby All Saints’ Church, Babworth, Brewster is believed to have founded a Separatist Church in his family home – the (privately owned) manor house at Scrooby. He was fined for non-attendance at St. Wilfrid’s Church in Scrooby but was respected as an elder and spiritual guide, and played a significant role in the congregation’s later journeys. (Text Source:

Americans in Nottingham…

Prince Harry and Megan Merkle visit Nottingham

On their first official joint royal engagement in the UK, Prince Harry, who has visited Nottingham eight times in the last five years, was keen to introduce his American fiancee to a community ‘that has become very special to him’, his spokesman said.

The couple were visiting the Nottingham Contemporary, which is hosting a Terrence Higgins Trust World Aids Day charity fair, to meet head-teachers from local schools and those working for Full Effect, a programme aimed at combating youth crime set up by the Royal Foundation, of which Markle will become a patron.

Professor Peter Romary takes Oath of Office as judge at the Nottingham Law School

The 7th March 2018 marked a historic legal ritual, thought not to have taken place in the UK since the 1700s.

It was to install Professor Peter Romary (pictured right) as a pro-tem judge in North Carolina. He was visiting Nottingham Trent University with students and asked if he could take his Oath of Office in the East Midlands so his UK-based parents could attend.  Nottingham has hosted a solemn ceremony that has not been held in Britain since the 1700s.

Lawyer and academic Professor Peter Romary was sworn in as a North Carolina judge – the first time an American judge has taken his oath on this side of the Atlantic since the 18th century, when his home state was one of Britain’s colonies. The ceremony took place at Nottingham Law School, part of Nottingham Trent University, as it welcomed the first US students on to its LLM (Master of Laws) Legal Practice distance learning course.

He has been appointed to serve as a “pro-tempore” judge, and will sit in North Carolina when the state judiciary has a heavy workload of civil claims for or against the state. He received special permission to have the swearing-in held in Nottingham as part of the visit, enabling his British parents to attend.

Students and staff watched as American judge Jeff Foster presided and Prof Romary, 47, took the oath. The bible was held by his mother Joy. Looking on was the professor’s father John, a retired solicitor and district judge.

Prof Romary lives in North Carolina with his wife Marcy. Their daughter Elizabeth is working in Namibia with the American volunteer agency The Peace Corps. He is best known for his pro-bono work on behalf of victims of domestic violence and other violent crime. As a young lawyer he secured from a jury what was then a world record wrongful death verdict of $525 million.

He lectures internationally and hailed the Campbell and Nottingham law school link on a course he said would help the cause of lawyers being able to practice in more than one country.





The Scholarship goes on providing opportunities for local young people to make their own journey to transform their career, aspirations and self-confidence – on an unbroken path now trodden by over 150 scholars over 68 years.  In each newsletter we will bring you a story, pictures or memories from passed scholars.

ALUMNI – J R Adams (1949)

In 1953 Ray wrote:

Whenever my acquaintances learn that I have spent some time in the USA I can expect a barrage of questions. This interest in the USA shown by the majority of British people in sponsored by many emotions: curiosity, admiration, antagonism, etc. During the inevitable discussion which follows it remarkable how many views are expressed which, in my experience, are incorrect. Naturally, in the circumstances, I try to tell them what I consider is the truth. If I can succeed then it is just one more way in which the Roosevelt Scholarships are helping to create understanding and friendship between America and Great Britain. Of course, lectures, articles and discussions are all important ways of helping to create this international goodwill.

To an insular people like ourselves it is most desirable that as many people as possible visit other nations. The Scholarships provide a first class opportunity to visit one of the most interesting countries in the world. A Scholarship holder becomes an ambassador of Great Britain and in particular Nottinghamshire in America and of the USA on returning home. The interchange of views, experiences and ideas is essential to maintain and increase the important friendship of the two nations.

Nottinghamshire’s unique contribution of Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarships are, in my experience, acclaimed by all Americans who hear of the scheme. They consider the Scholarships a generous gesture of a far-sighted community and one which would bring tangible rewards to individuals and organisations, in addition to helping increased friendship between the two countries.

It is now four years since my own four months stay in the USA and though it is difficult to assess even the more tangible benefits I feel confident that my experiences there have contributed much to my work. To these benefits may be added others such as broadening of the mind to appreciate other points of view, an increased sense of responsibility to the local community and the opportunities of making Nottingham, the County and its products more widely known in the States. Surely a worthy object these days when exports to North America are very desirable.

When chosen as a Scholar, JR Adams worked for Ericsson Telephones. He presented an illuminated Address to General Eisenhower in commemoration of his visit to Nottingham. A Photostat of the completed address may be seen at the Council House.




ALUMNI: John Blackwell 1963 Scholar – A Roosevelts Scholars account of the JFK assassination

Reading the latest newsletter revives many memories for me, and the feelings expressed by the two latest scholars on their return, are so similar to my own 54 years ago.

It was remarked that I was a different person on my return, more confident and certainly very prepared to meet and listen to advice from people around me.

As I write this letter, the day after Mr Trump is appointed President of the USA, brings back the memory of the assassination of JFK in Dallas. I was staying on a tobacco farm in Virginia and as I was waiting for a bus into the local town at the end of the driveway to the house, which looked like something out of “Gone with the Wind”, the black servant Arthur came running down the drive shouting” Master John they have shot the president”. The whole atmosphere changed over next few days, I was able to visit Arlington cemetery to view JFKs grave a few days later. I have many wonderful memories of my 4 months in the USA, but this event will always be the one remembered. L was very fortunate , as I made my way around the USA looking at industrial product design for obsolescence. Just like today’s scholars, l was given the warmest of welcomes by American families. From my arrival in New York on the Queen Mary along with my two fellow scholars Peter (from Boots) and Jane (a teacher) to the day of my departure four months later I spent many pleasant hours with American families.

Starting my journey by staying with a family in New Jersey whilst visiting Bell Telephones a must as l worked for Ericsson Telephones Ltd in Beeston. My journey took me to Philadelphia to visit the Jacquard Co. and then returning to New York to start my journey by Greyhound bus (note the cost 99 dollars for 99 days). I travelled via Boston, Rochester, Niagara, (into Canada to visit Ericson’s factory in Toronto) then on to Detroit, Chicago, Kansas, Oklahoma, Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles (a few days break in Las Vegas & Mexico City) before arriving back in Dallas just one week before JFKs assassination. Then on through the southern states, to New Orleans, then to Virginia and the tobacco farm, onto Washington DC the day after JFKs funeral, finally back to New York and my flight home to my wife and young daughter.

Not only did I get a lot of information and experiences of industrial design from major industry and colleges of Art & Design, but a tremendous amount of what life is all about from the wonderful people I met on my travels.

The Roosevelt Scholarship is something I have been proud to have been part of all my life – now being 80 in a few months it is wonderful to relive my memories whilst reading those of todays scholars. May the Scholarships go on for many more years.

Best wishes to all future Scholars

John Blackwell 1963 Scholar




ALUMNI – Keith Taylor 1959  – What the Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Scholarship has meant to me

The Post Office Telegram dated 15 April 1959 said:


I could not believe my good fortune in being one of three scholars chosen to visit America for four months in the Autumn of that year. The scholarship was established to promote goodwill and understanding between the citizens of Nottingham and the people of the USA. I was 27. Nearly 60 years later I look back with profound gratitude to the Trustees and my employer at that time, Raleigh Industries, for what was a landmark event in my life and one which I will never forget.

Undoubtedly, the greatest privilege and pleasure of the scholarship was staying as a private guest with Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt at her home, Val-kill Cottage, Hyde Park both on arrival and before departure. She was intently interested in our plans and our experiences. She was undoubted one of the greatest women of our time and lived by her philosophy: ‘the most important thing in any relationship is not what you can get but what you can give.’

The sheer size of America, 3000 miles coast to coast, and its immense physical and ethnic diversity create a sense of constant wonderment. As a blueprint for my travels, I had used the American bicycle manufacturing industry and this brought me into contact with numerous people, families, entrepreneurs, professionals and even the military. However, there were numerous unplanned and unexpected occasions as diverse as sitting next to Admiral Rickover of Polaris submarine fame at a US Naval Officer’s dining in night; meeting Richard Burton during a break in filming in Hollywood; descending the Grand Canyon by mule and numerous others. Overriding all was the welcoming friendliness and generosity of everyone I met.

With hindsight, I can say that this remarkable scholarship provided a foundation on which to build my life but with a new perspective of the unlimited potential to learn from and listen to the diverse people who inhabit this wonderful world.