Do you need a QEST Scholarship to further your skills? Applications open 10 January

This is Marlene Lagnado, who was awarded a QEST Scholarship to support her while she trained as a stonemason with Matthias Garn Master Mason & Partner in Yorkshire.

Do you need some financial support to help you expand your skills in stonemasonry? The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) offers up to £18,000 to help people continue their training in crafts like stonemasonry.

QEST is a charity dedicated to supporting talented makers looking to advance their skills. Since it was founded in 1990 it has awarded more than £5million to 625 people working in crafts ranging from lettercutting and stonemasonry to silversmithing, thatching and jewellery design.

The Trust used to receive a lot of applications from people in the stone industry looking to increase their talents, often in areas such as carving by, for example, studying with the City & Guilds of London Art School.

Applications from stone workers have tailed off in recent years and QEST is keen to encourage them again.

The next application round opens on 10 January and submissions have to be received by 14 February. You can find out what applying involves at

Applications must include details of your experience and your plans for furthering your training. It's important to include good quality photos of your work and be able to articulate how the additional training would benefit you.

QEST funding has provided an essential turning point for many careers in crafts. You can see some of those in stone who have benefitted at And QEST continues to support those it has awarded Scholarships throughout their careers, offering opportunities for exhibitions, collaborations and commissions through its extensive craft network.

One previous scholar says: "The QEST Scholarship transformed my career. The initial award enabled me to improve my skills beyond measure and make extremely valuable professional contacts.

“The opportunities offered to me through QEST after my scholarship have been amazing. I am extremely grateful to have been awarded a Scholarship; and for all the support from the QEST team in the years since I received the award."