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Anna Plowden Trust 2020 Annual Report

Annual reports record  a year's achievements and minor tribulations and can often look remarkably similar to those of previous years. But 2020 was, of course, a year like no other, dominated from the spring by the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on all our lives.

You can download the 2020 Annual Report here:



We had expected many fewer applications for Plowden Scholarships in June 2020, but the number of applications was only slightly down on previous years and 27 Scholarships were awarded.  Course leaders and tutors made extraordinary efforts to provide a balanced and as near normal as possible experience for their students. With other funders affected by reduced income or diverting grants to areas they saw as higher priority during the pandemic, our scholarships became even more important in allowing those in financial need to embark on, or continue with, a conservation training programme.

More predictably, demand for grants for continuing professional development (CPD), the Trust’s other major programme, dropped considerably as conferences, workshops and other training opportunities were cancelled or postponed. Nearly 30 grants were awarded and the Trustees took a flexible approach to funding participation in the increasing number of ‘virtual’ events, including nine grants to those registering for Icon’s increasingly popular Leadership Launchpad programme.

One group that was suffering particularly from the pandemic was final year conservation students, who were not only missing out on practical experience, often through studio placements, but whose plans for internships or employment on graduation were disrupted or cancelled. With the agreement of The Clothworkers’ Foundation, our partners for the CPD grant programme, we diverted some of that funding to a Covid-19 grant programme designed specifically to support newly graduated conservators to secure post-qualification practical experience.

Find out more about our grants and the individuals that have been helped by the Anna Plowden Trust over the past year: