Charities and Awards (Managed at National Level)
QEST was established to help support craftspeople of all ages and from all backgrounds, at a critical stage in their careers and thus sustain traditional British craftsmanship through traditional college courses, apprenticeships or one-on-one training with masters.
The charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, QEST was established in 1990 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Association and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Since 1990 the Trust has awarded over £3 million to over 400 craftspeople aged between 17 and 58 for study, training and work experience. QEST is honoured to welcome Her Majesty The Queen as Patron of QEST in her 90th birthday year, and looks forward to continuing to champion excellence in British craftsmanship as symbolised by the Royal Warrant of Appointment.
The Royal Warrant Holders Association also operates a Members’ Charity Fund which was established in 1902 and rejuvenated in 2013. This exists to support the charitable endeavours of employees of Royal Warrant-holding companies. The Charity Fund makes grants, to local charities with which employees of Royal Warrant holding companies are personally involved and where the amounts given will make a real difference.
Twice a year, Royal Warrant holders who have given time to charitable work in their communities can apply for small donations to assist their chosen cause. All applications must be endorsed by a Grantee, but could support the charitable work of any employee at a Royal Warrant-holding company. Annually, the Fund also awards an Aldeburgh Bursary to young professional musicians, and makes a contribution to the retiring national President’s nominated charity.
The Royal Warrant Holders Association awards the Plowden Medal annually to recognise the man or woman who has made the most significant recent contribution to the advancement of the conservation profession.
Inaugurated in 1999, the award commemorates the Hon. Anna Plowden CBE, a leading conservator and Grantee of Plowden & Smith, who was President-elect of the Association at the time of her death in 1997.
Presented at the Association's Annual Luncheon, the Plowden Medal covers all aspects of conservation, be they practical, theoretical or managerial, and is open to both those working in private practice and those employed by institutions.