• QEST Book

    A Celebration of British Craftsmanship


    Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
    Photographed by Julian Calder
    Written by Karen Bennett


    A Celebration of British Craftsmanship provides a glimpse into the vibrant, richly storied world of some of the craftsmen and women that QEST has supported throughout its lifetime.

    Founded by the Royal Warrant Holders Association, on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday, our aim remains the same today as it did at its inception in 1990 – to sustain Britain’s cultural heritage by supporting excellence in British craftsmanship, through funding the training and education of talented and aspiring craftspeople.

    This book features 100 portraits and stories of QEST Alumni from across the United Kingdom, revealing a wealth of skill, knowledge, respect for traditions, and an abundance of innovative spirit. From an armourer to basketmakers; a block-printer to ceramicists; a calligrapher to silversmiths; a charcoal burner to milliners; to stone carvers, weavers and many more, representing over 80 crafts, traditional and contemporary.

    The net proceeds from sales of this book will enable QEST to support the next generation of professional craftspeople, who hold the future of British craftsmanship in their hands.


    Andrian Melka

    Andrian Melka – QEST Scholar 2008 – Sculptor


    Available to purchase from 29th October at £60 (inc. p&p)

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    Book cover - Rod Kelly

  • Sleepeeze Donation

    Sleepeezee presents big cheque

    At the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in September, Sleepeezee handed over a cheque for £36,000 to QEST Chairman, Nick Crean and Executive Director, Deborah Pocock. Sleepeezee have been raising funds through sales of their special collection and to date have donated over £75,000 to QEST.



    Sleepeezee QEST Collection

    Each mattress is handcrafted in the UK by Sleepeezee and embroidered with the QEST logo, a reminder that for every QEST mattress or divan set sold a donation is made to QEST.
    Every product sold by us with the QEST logo generates a contribution to the charity, whose core objective is to sustain British craftsmanship, a vision shared by Sleepeezee and one that is very close to our hearts.
    As a UK manufacturer we recognise the need to maintain historical skills used within our industry over hundreds of years and are committed to encouraging excellence in traditional craftsmanship.


    – Howard Wilson, Sleepeezee Managing Director
    Click here to shop the collection.


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  • Summer 2018 Magazine

    QEST Magazine

    Issue 38 | Summer 2018

    • An introduction to our latest intake of Scholars and Apprentices
    • Private view: interviews with QEST Award for Excellence 2018 winner, Deborah Carré and QEST Trustee, Dr Nicholas Morgan
    • A run down of our recent events: our fundraising dinner at the V&A and London Craft Week.


    You can view/download a digital copy HERE or if you would like to join our mailing list please contact

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  • Summer 2018 Craft Funding

    Supporting Excellence in British Craftsmanship

    OPEN: 17 JULY 2018 – 24 AUG 2018

    Our Summer Funding cycle has now opened!

    We are currently receiving applications for funding in training and education of a Craft skill – visit our alumni page to understand what Craft categories we fund.  Funding is available to individuals for Scholarships for a particular course or training; and to businesses (in particular smaller companies) to employ Apprentices. 

    If you have any queries around eligibility see our HOW TO APPLY pages for frequently asked questions. Click below to start the application process:

    Scholarships                                         Apprentices

    All applications must be submitted online via our website, but please email applications co-ordinator or call 0207 798 1539 for any application queries.


    feature image: Mila Chielman – Spring 2018 QEST Garfield Weston Foundation Apprentice Spectacle Maker at Cubitts

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  • Traditional Building Skills Programme

    QEST and the Prince’s Foundation 

    Traditional Building Skills Programme




    QEST (the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) and the Prince’s Foundation are collaborating to deliver an innovative training programme in traditional building skills, linking short courses and workshops with a series of live training builds on heritage sites across the UK. Through a focus on practical, project-based, education this course will not only further develop technical skills and knowledge, but also provide site-based learning and training in business skills vital to the development of the next generation of skilled craftspeople.



    Course Overview:

    The course starts with an intensive series of workshops at Dumfries House, providing an introduction to topics such as traditional architecture, drawing, geometry and the principles of sustainable development. Hosted at the Dumfries House Estate in Scotland, this residential week long course will provide a grounding in the principles and practices of the Prince’s Foundation and QEST and provide participants with an introduction to the year ahead. Following this introductory course, participants will take part in an intensive year long programme, including:

    • Taking part in a series of ‘live build’ projects at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland, The Dumfries House Estate in Scotland and the Royal Gardens at Highgrove. Sitting at the heart of this programme, the live builds are a once in a lifetime opportunity to construct a structure from start to completion using traditional materials and techniques. An educational build, the projects are done completely by students on the programme while being overseen by skilled tutors, to guide and provide assistance as needed. With a focus on multidisciplinary learning, alongside their own trades, students will be given the chance to work on a range of other trades as well as provide design input throughout the process.
    • In addition to the Live Builds, students will be able to spend some time on short placements with craftspeople and firms in their sector, to learn first-hand from masters in the trade.
    • In collaboration with industry partners, a series of short courses will be delivered throughout the year at the Dumfries House Estate and in London, covering topics across the building crafts, decorative and applied arts, drawing and sketching, architecture and urbanism and more.
    • The opportunity to go on short specialist placements with leading firms and master craftspeople.
    • Participants will be given the option of pursuing an NVQ 3 Heritage Skills over the course of this programme, although this will not be a required element.
    • Throughout the course there will be a focus on the development of business skills, including the running of an intensive short course in this area. Mentoring support will also be provided from our network of alumni.


    Bursary, Accommodation and Travel:

    This is a free programme and all participants will be paid a monthly bursary of £1,000 a month. In addition to this, accommodation will be provided for the duration of the live builds. Students will be expected to use the bursary to cover any additional living and travel costs that may arise throughout the duration of the programme.


    Course Dates:

    The course runs from October 2018 – September 2019. The below breakdown is subject to change but is as follows:

    1st – 7th October: Introductory Course at Dumfries House

    8th October – 22nd December: Live Build at Hillsborough Castle

    23rd December – 6th January: Winter Break

    7th – 13th January: London Short Course

    14th January – 22nd January: Winter School at Dumfries House

    23rd January – 3rd May: Live Build at Dumfries House

    19th May – 30th June: Dumfries House and/or external placements

    1st July – 28th September: Live Build at Highgrove



    Application Process:

    The students we recruit for the programme usually come to us with a Level 2 or 3 NVQ or a significant amount of work experience within their chosen trade. The Live Builds will predominantly employ the following trades, although we welcome applicants from other trades: stonemasonry, woodwork (joinery, carpentry, timber framing), plastering, blacksmithing, bricklaying, thatching and painting and decorating.

    We ask for the submission of a written application alongside a portfolio – click here to download the form.

    Please send all completed applications to:

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  • Celebrating Craft at the V&A


     Supporting Excellence in British Craftsmanship


    On 6th March The Earl of Snowdon, Vice Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), hosted our annual dinner at the V&A, at  which 24 QEST Scholars demonstrated their skills, including enamelling, watchmaking, basket making, sculpting, blacksmithing and armoury.

    An auction of pieces made by QEST Alumni, as well as luxury handcrafted goods, bespoke tours and masterclasses, raised more than £150,000 which will go towards supporting the education and training of talented and aspiring craftspeople.




    The Earl of Snowdon said, ‘It was an honour to host the ‘Celebration of Craft’ dinner and auction at the Victoria and Albert Museum in support of QEST. The Victoria and Albert Museum, the home of ‘manufactures’, is the perfect setting to showcase the importance of British craftsmanship. It was great to see so much generous support and enthusiasm for QEST from so many people. I would like to thank everybody involved in organising this special event and all who came along to help continue the important work of QEST. British craftsmanship has a bright future!’


    QEST Hand Loom Weaving Apprentice Libby Kates QEST | Garfield Weston Foundation Sculpture Scholar Thomas Merrett


    Lance Patterson, CEO, at Penhaligon’s, the event’s principal sponsor, said, ‘As a luxury brand and Royal Warrant holder, Penhaligon’s are reliant on the highest level of craftsmanship. QEST’s mission to support excellence in craft in the UK is synonymous with our brand values and our reputation for supporting British Craftsmanship throughout our 147-year history. Penhaligon’s are delighted to be supporting a QEST scholar – showing our commitment to training the next generation. Fundraising is of the utmost importance to allow QEST to continue the significant work it does and Penhaligon’s are proud to continue helping the charity and sponsor the 2018 gala dinner at The Victoria & Albert Museum.’

    QEST | D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust Basket Making Scholar Annemarie O’Sullivan
     QEST Millinery Scholar Jane Fryers Bespoke Suit of Armour made by QEST Blacksmithing Scholar Graham Ashford


    A huge thank you to all our sponsors, supporters and partners for making such a fantastic event possible.



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