A Day in the Life of the Bursary Officer

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Hi, my name is Angela Seabrook and I have been the Bursary & Awards Officer for the Guild for the last two and a bit years.

Most days there is very little, if anything, to do regarding the bursaries but at times a few hours do have to be given. As the role is largely administrative and work these days is by email, it does not occupy too many hours across the year, but tends to come in spaced ‘clumps’ of activity.

Bursary Officer2

The Guild has five bursaries available to members.  These are awarded on individual merit by a selection panel formed from various office holders within The Guild.  All entries are looked at anonymously, so applications have to be edited to remove names/addresses and any other identifying information before to passing it across to the panel.  In our world, so many makers are known either because of their distinctive style or because of their active quilting life, so the anonymity helps the panel to view applications objectively and impartially.

The recipients are generally required to display their work at our Conference & AGM. This gives an opportunity for the panel as well as members to see the outcome and benefit of the awarded bursaries in furthering that which we all hold most dear – the development of our craft and encouragement for newcomers.

The bursaries available to members and their timetables are:

Members Travel & Education Bursary – £1,000         closing date 30 September 2018

Sue Belton Memorial Prize – up to £600                      closing date 28 February 2019

Founder Members’ Bursary – up to £500                    closing date 30 June 2019

Teachers Travel & Education Bursary – £1,000          closing date 30 September 2019

Amy Emms Bursary – up to £300                                  closing date 28 February 2020

In addition to the five member only bursaries, there are two bursaries available to students as well – the City & Guilds Award and the BA Student Bursary.

The Quilters’ Guild City & Guilds Award of £1,000 is awarded to a student graduating from a City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate or Diploma course centred on Patchwork and Quilting.  Tutors are invited to put forward up to two students for consideration for the award and shortlisted candidates are invited to mount an exhibition of their work at Festival of Quilts, where a winner is chosen.  The award is to be spent on furthering the winner’s textile studies or textile work.

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Festival of Quilts 2018

The BA Student Bursary is awarded to a final year BA graduate from a textiles-related course. The award aims to raise the profile of patchwork and quilting and also the role of The Quilters’ Guild. Students are invited to apply for the award and a shortlist of five will be invited to exhibit quilt-related work in the ‘Graduate Showcase’ at the Festival of Quilts in August. The winner of the award is selected at the Festival of Quilts by a panel of judges.  A bursary of £1,000 is awarded to the winner, who will be expected to use the award to further his/her textile studies.  The winner will also receive membership of The Quilters’ Guild for one year.

The largest portion of my role is based on the Festival of Quilts, where two of the larger bursaries are awarded – the City & Guilds Award and the BA Student Bursary.  This, as many of you will have seen, culminates in the ‘Showcase’ stand at the Festival for those selected eligible students.

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Final exhibition of Sumandip Dhesi, winner of the BA Bursary 2017.

Apart from being a ‘mother hen’ to the chosen exhibitors, much of the preparatory work is done behind the scenes. This starts with advertising and reminders to tutors and colleges to promote the Awards for the following year, starting in the autumn. After this there are judges to appoint, ready for the preliminary selection process once the closing date is reached – 31 March each year. I work with the Festival of Quilts Judges Organiser to select and appoint the judges.  Thereafter, liaison with the Festival organisers hots up with stand layout being finalised, equipment booked and passes for personnel and vehicles being ordered.

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Festival of Quilts 2018

Students taking part also have many questions (they’ve never done this before) and these have to be answered, information provided and general encouragement and support given.  The stand build, which happens the day before the show opens to the public, is the major day in my Bursary Year.

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Emma Astill and her work: Winner of The Quilters’ Guild 2018 BA Bursary.

Full details of all awards together with the entry criteria can be found on The Guild website here.

If you’re a member interested in the rewarding experience of becoming a volunteer for The Guild, click here to see the current National Officer and Trustee vacancies we have available.

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