The Anna Plowden Trust has been tracking down its alumni to find out what they are doing now and, having been in touch with well over two thirds of them, decided to have a party. On November 28th it held a reception at the Georgian Group's headquarters in London, to which it asked alumni, supporters, funders and professionals within the conservation field so they could all meet and hear something about the Trust’s work.
In spite of it being one of the colder nights so far this year, there was a good turnout with around 100 guests coming from as far afield as Edinburgh and Cardiff. Susan Palmer, the Trust’s chairman, gave a short opening talk, in which she said that in the past 12 years the Trust has helped over 100 conservation students with bursaries towards their primary training courses and about the same number of practising conservators with the costs of their continuing professional development (CPD) courses. She highlighted the increasing difficulty for students of funding what is often a second degree, with the following disturbing fact: “This year the Anna Plowden Trust has only been able to fund about one third of the eligible applications that we received, which was about 10% of the amount requested” and went on to say that more funds are needed.
If you would like to read the full speech you can download it below
Emma Le Cornu, Amy Junker Heslip and Sonja Schwoll then spoke very interestingly about what they have been doing since receiving funding. Sonja described how as a freelance conservator it was difficult to take time off for CPD training and to justify the expense. Emma works in the Illustrations department at Kew Gardens, having started work there on the Marianne North paintings, while Amy, after a series of short term contracts, now has a permanent job as a member of the conservation team at the Wellcome Trust.
Attention then turned to food and drink and meeting other guests. One or two people recalled working with Anna Plowden or sitting on committees with her, others met fellow practitioners or erstwhile students they hadn’t seen for many years and, to the Trust’s great gratification, all hailed both the work of the Trust and the party as a success - and enquired when the next party would be!
The Trust would like to hear from anyone it has funded with whom it has not made contact.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.