Dan Jones travelled to Bangladesh nearly 30 years ago to work on projects with street children, minority communities, and schools under the sky.
Fast forward to 2015 and he is meeting The Queen to celebrate 50 years of the The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust - which made his journey across continents possible.
The trust funds the Churchill Fellowship, which is a scheme that enables British citizens to travel overseas to study areas of topical and personal interest, to gain knowledge and bring back the benefit to their local community in the UK.
The Cable Street resident, who attended the reception at Buckingham Palace on March 18, said: “My Churchill Fellowship really was a life-changing experience, giving me a deeper and better understanding of the backgrounds, the culture and the wonderful country of origin of our local Bengali community.”
When Dan returned to Tower Hamlets following his eight weeks in the country he brought with him a decorated rickshaw, still seen on the streets of the East End today. He also brought back three 40 foot-long Peacock racing boats used in Shadwell Basin for many years.
Fellows from every decade since 1965 represented the Churchill Trust at the royal reception, as well as representatives from Winston Churchill trusts in Australia, and the United States.
The trust’s director general Jamie Balfour said: “We were delighted and honoured that the Queen hosted a reception to mark our anniversary year.
"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”