Churchill medallion for research work into online abuse

Sarah Smith with Winston Churchill Award for research
Sarah Smith with Winston Churchill Award for research

A Bedford woman who has travelled the world during research into online abuse has seen her work recognised.

Sarah Smith, a technical researcher with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the charity that works to eliminate child sexual abuse imagery online, was presented with the Churchill medallion at an award ceremony in London.

The award was presented on Wednesday, May 18, after Sarah completed the Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship.

As part of her fellowship, Sarah travelled to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, United States and Canada to investigate global strategies for tackling child sexual abuse material online to help shape IWF and UK policy.

Sarah said: “The fellowship provided a unique opportunity to connect with organisations and individuals worldwide which are united in combatting child sexual abuse material online. The aim was to ensure IWF remains at the forefront of the global fight against this distribution.”

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 more than 5,250 Travelling Fellowships. Fellowships are awarded to applicants who demonstrate the commitment to travel globally, in pursuit of new and improved ways of tackling a wide range of challenges facing us today. It is hoped that the Fellowships help transform and improve society, for the benefit of others in the UK.

Professor Brian Clarke presented 129 Fellows with medallions at London’s Church House, a venue with significant Churchillian associations.

The professor praised the Fellows for their outstanding achievements and said: “I know from personal experience that the Fellowship represents a wonderful opportunity. I am continually amazed and inspired by the Churchill Fellows dedication and commitment to making a difference in so many areas affecting today’s society.”