The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) supports excellence in British craftsmanship through scholarship and apprenticeship funding, striving to make a difference to the lives and careers of talented and aspiring makers working across the UK. We define craft broadly and are excited to support contemporary innovation as well as traditional craft skills. Over the last 30 years QEST has awarded nearly £5million to 600 individuals working in 130 different disciplines. From guitar making to printmaking and thatching to enamelling, we embrace craft in all its forms and are proud to contribute towards its evolving tradition. QEST funding has provided an essential turning point for many of our alumni, and we continue to support them throughout their career, offering opportunities for exhibitions, collaborations and commissions through our extensive craft network.
QEST was founded by the Royal Warrant Holders Association in 1990 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Association and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. In 2017 HRH The Prince of Wales became our Patron, with Vice-Patrons the Earl of Snowdon and the Marquess of Salisbury.
SCHOLAR & APPRENTICE TESTIMONIALS
Without the support of QEST I simply would not have been able to take my career to that next level. Being a QEST scholar has already opened up many doors for me and I hope many more talented craftsmen and women will benefit from this amazing organisation.
I feel privileged, and honoured to gain this award. After only one trip of study to Japan, it has already surpassed all my expectations. The Japanese craftsman have given the direction, the focus I had always envisaged, and wanted to pursue. Now I am on this path and I honestly believe it was all down to QEST.
I’m very grateful for the apprenticeship experience I’ve had so far. I owe a huge part of it to the team around me who support me as I learn, but I could never have supported myself financially without the help of QEST. I can’t stress enough what that has done for me as an individual as well as a craftsperson. Waking up every day and leaving the house to do something I enjoy and care about seems a simple facet of life but it’s priceless.
My apprenticeship has been an incredibly invaluable opportunity for me as a designer, and as an individual. My technical knowledge, weaving skills, and design ability have developed far more in 1 year than in my 3 years at university. I feel extremely lucky to be spending my time doing what I love, and I would like to thank QEST, their donors, and Dash + Miller (employers), for giving me this opportunity.
Receiving a QEST scholarship not only allowed me to fine tune my craft with research and learning but it also set me on pathways I could only dream of before. My somewhat niche craft received the recognition and exposure it needed to build up my practice with confidence. Thirteen years later QEST continues to open doors of opportunity for me and the rest of the QEST family - and it really does feel like we're a team moving forward together.
TRUSTEES & AMBASSADORS
The QEST Trustees are responsible for the governance of the charity and are vital for their expertise and knowledge within specific areas and industries.
Our Ambassadors help us spread the word about QEST, advocating our work to different audiences.
Banner image (top) © Asia Werbel for the John Smedley 235 campaign