Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST)
QEST plays a pivotal role in developing and maintaining excellence in British craftsmanship.
It provides scholarships and bursaries to craftsmen, whether they are starting out or already launched on their career. The QEST Apprenticeship Scheme supports those at entry level, whilst QEST Scholarships help practising craftsmen to reach even higher levels of excellence in their chosen craft.
In 1997, Deborah Carré was awarded a QEST Scholarship to train as a handsewn shoe maker. The scholarship changed her world from marketing to maker under the tuition and guidance of master shoemaker Paul Wilson.
“The QEST scholarship means everything to me, both the financial support it provided but also a belief in myself as a craftsman, giving me the confidence to pursue handsewn shoe making as a business.”
Today, Carréducker keeps the handsewn craft firmly at its heart from its bespoke shoes service at Gieves & Hawkes and James Purdey & Sons to passing on skills and knowledge through the Carréducker Shoe & Leather School in Shoreditch.
In 2018, Deborah received the QEST Award for Excellence at the Royal Warrant Holders Association Annual Luncheon in recognition of Carréducker’s ambition for the handsewn craft. For nearly 20 years, she and business partner James Ducker, have inspired hundreds of handsewn shoemaking enthusiasts, enthused future generations of shoe makers and championed the craft to a global audience of bespoke customers.
In 2019, Deborah was proud to be appointed a QEST Trustee – alongside Thomas Goode Creative Director Peter Ting – the first alumni to sit on the Board.
Find out more about QEST here.