The Duke of Buccleuch hosts funders evening for local charity

6th March, 2013

The Duke of Buccleuch hosted an information evening to an influential group of potential funders recently, to help secure the financial future of charity project The Queensberry Initiative.

Held at Drumlanrig Castle, the evening was attended by local secondary school pupils, businesses, public figures and community partners. The attendees were given a presentation of the successes of the initiative since it was launched four years ago, and asked to consider ways they could offer funding and support to safeguard the future of the scheme.

The Queensberry Initiative was created in 2008 to promote closer links between Wallace Hall Academy, the Queensberry Estate and local business of all kinds. It aims to address the importance of getting children and young people out of the classroom, to build a connection to their community and to economic life in Dumfries and Galloway, whilst improving their health and well-being.

The charity project is also designed to encourage those interested in employment within the rural area and also those planning on a land-based career through college or university.

Three speakers, including Wallace Hall Academy sixth year pupils Ailie Bryson and John Carlisle and second year pupil Lucy Doig attended on the night and spoke about their experience with the Queensberry Initiative and why local business should get involved. The Duke also spoke about the positive impact of the project and offered his continued support for the initiative as it moves forward.

Ms Pat Kirby, Manager of the Queensberry Initiative was also in attendance, said: “We have completed some really fantastic work in the last four years, however, support from local businesses and individuals is vital if we are to continue to succeed. Our event, generously hosted by the Duke of Buccleuch, was a great success and following the night and the impressive speeches from our school pupils, we are speaking with a number of interested parties who are keen to help us move forward.

“The award-winning initiative plans to continue to innovate and experiment, leading the way in piloting new approaches to help children and young people to improve their prospects, overcoming rural disadvantage and achieving their full potential here in Dumfries and Galloway. I would like to extend my thanks to the Duke and to all who joined us on the night.”