Five new grants awarded to help save endangered crafts from extinction

17th October 2022  |  ANNOUNCEMENTS

A pargeter, a shoe maker, reverse glass sign makers and a passementerier are the recipients of the latest round of grants awarded to help safeguard some of the UK’s most endangered craft skills.

Stephanie FirthHeritage Crafts, which is currently working on the fourth edition of its groundbreaking Red List of Endangered Crafts, has awarded a further five grants from its Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in 2019 to increase the likelihood of endangered crafts surviving into the next generation.

This round of the Endangered Crafts Fund has been offered with the generous support of the Pilgrim Trust. The five successful recipients are:

  • Elizabeth Ashdown, from London, to enhance her existing practice by learning high-level passementerie skills from expert Clare Hedges.
  • Paul Chamberlain, from Norfolk, to create short films to support the teaching of the craft of reverse-glass sign making.
  • Michelle Dawson, from Dorset, to supplement her glass restoration practice by learning high-level reverse-glass sign making skills from David A Smith MBE.
  • Stephanie Firth, from Derbyshire, to start up a business specialising in handmade bespoke orthopaedic shoes.
  • Anna Kettle, from Bedfordshire, to create short films to support the teaching of the craft of pargeting.

TElizabeth Ashdownhese five projects follow 42 awarded in previous rounds, covering endangered crafts such as type founding, wallpaper block printing, clockmaking, tinsmithing, kiltmaking and many more.

As usual the fund was oversubscribed, and Heritage Crafts hopes to work with many of the unsuccessful candidates to identify other funding and support opportunities.

Heritage Crafts Endangered Crafts Manager Mary Lewis said:

“The pressures facing practitioners of the UK’s most at-risk skills have only been exacerbated by the succession of crises that have included COVID-19, the energy crisis and inflation. These projects will provide future generations with opportunities that they might not otherwise have, to pursue fulfilling careers while safeguarding this important part of our national heritage.”

Since 2019, the Endangered Crafts Fund has been funded through generous donations from organisations including the Pilgrim Trust. Past funders have included the Dulverton Trust, the Sussex Heritage Trust, the Swire Charitable Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Benefact Trust, and the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, as well as individuals who have donated sums from £5 right up to several thousands of pounds.

About the Pilgrim Trust

TPilgrim Trusthe Pilgrim Trust is an independent charitable trust that was set up in 1930 by Edward Harkness to support the urgent and future needs of the UK. Over the decades, it has supported a wide range of causes, adapting to the changing circumstances and needs in the UK. It gives around £3 million in grants each year to charities and other public bodies that focus on preserving the UK’s heritage or bringing about social change. Its aims are to improve the life chances of the most vulnerable and preserve the best of our past for the public to enjoy.