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Queensberry Estate


whapples orchard – The People’s Millions public vote – Monday 24th November

whapples Community Orchard has been shortlisted by The People’s Millions - an initiative established by the Big Lottery Fund and ITV - along with one other project from the Border ITV region. The two projects will be featured on the evening edition of ITV Border News on Monday 24th November. They will go ‘head to head’ in a public contest on the same day and that’s when we need your vote. Voting is by phone only and lines open at 9.00am on the 24th and close at midnight. At 9.00am on the 24th, the designated telephone number will be added to The People’s Millions website - - and we will ensure that it is also added to the whapples Facebook page. The number will also appear in the Daily Mirror. Mobile and BT landline votes will cost no more than 15p but this cost may vary for other landline providers.


Queensberry Initiative is holding its Annual General Meeting in the Conference Room at Wallace Hall Academy on Tuesday 1st June at 12 noon.

Earl of Wessex visits Queensberry Initiative, 19th May 2014

We were delighted to have the Earl of Wessex visit the Queensberry Initiative yesterday as part of his visits to Dumfries and Galloway. He arrived by Royal helicopter to meet the Queensberry Initiative and Buccleuch estate staff then started the journey around the estate to view pupils taking part in Maths, Drama, Rural Skills, Biology and English all in our wonderful outdoor classroom, the Duke of Buccleuch’s Queensberry Estate. Pupils and staff were very excited to meet Prince Edward and he definitely didn’t disappoint stopping to speak to pupils and taking a real interest in what each group were learning in an outdoor environment.

The Queensberry Initiative - BBC Radio Scotland

Rural Opportunities Day 2014

The QI team have been busy organising Rural Opportunities Day 2014 which is taking place on Tuesday 3rd June. After consulting both pupils and staff at Wallace Hall Academy we have drawn up a list of exhibitors from a wide range of different employment sectors. Pupils from S3 to S6 will be allocated a period during which they will be given time to explore the range of businesses and different career paths represented on the day. We have been in contact with many businesses from dentists to solicitors and from engineers to midwives. Watch this space for further updates on the event!

Pat Kirby

We are very sorry to announce that Pat Kirby has now retired after many years as our QI Development Officer. We wish Pat good luck in her retirement and are delighted to announce that Jamie Pape has been appointed as our new Development Officer. We look forward to working with Jamie and taking our project forward with his leadership.

Queensberry Initiative Mini-Conference
Partnership Working to Increase Pupils’ Skills for Learning, Life and Work
Thursday 13 June 2013, 9.30-3.30

The Queensberry Initiative is holding a mini-conference for teachers and other educators to find out more about the Initiative’s innovative approach to delivering educational objectives including transition support, life skills and employability skills using community partners and outdoor environments. The conference is an opportunity for good practice to be shared from the Initiative and delegates who may be experienced practitioners or at an early stage of their journey in this key area. Delegates will spend some time indoors but will also be undertaking a practical exercise in the outdoors.

Queensberry Initiative - Funding Drive

With the Queensberry Initiative currently striving to secure the financial future of the project we started our funding drive on Thursday 28th Feb 2013 with a very enjoyable evening in Drumlanrig Castle. This event was very generously hosted by His Grace ...the Duke of Buccleuch and his support was evident during the evening. Many local businesses, individuals, community partners and supporters joined us in celebrating past successes of our award winning project and discussed ways of sourcing funding to secure the future of the Queensberry Initiative. A big thank you to all of you who joined us and lets hope that we can all succeed in taking QI forward for many years to come.

whapples Planting Day

For Wallace Hall Academy pupils money could grow on trees. ‘whapples’, a ground-breaking social enterprise developed by a board of pupils, local businesses and staff, aims to give something back to the community and got off to a crisp start on 26 November, with 104 apple and plum trees being planted on land near the school.

Rural Opportunities Day - 29 June 2012

QI are planning their second Rural Opportunities Day on Friday 29 June for Wallace Hall Academy and its cluster primaries. The purpose of this event is to give the children and young people of Mid-Nithsdale a chance to learn more about the types of industries, businesses, career paths and training/education routes available in Dumfries & Galloway. We hope to have engaging practical activities and demonstrations as well as manned static displays to let our pupils and students explore the wealth of enterprise, careers and activities around them. The first Rural Opportunities Day, held in June 2010, was a great success. We had 88 different businesses and other participants, including training providers, Third Sector groups and colleges/universities, etc, for that event. Further information on our first event can be viewed on the Rural Opportunities page.

Local Farmers supporting the QI

Queensberry Initiative's Rural Skills vocational course has being going from strength to strength with the additional practical opportunities being offered to our pupils. This is thanks to the local farmers who have opened up their doors to us and have volunteered their farms and their expertise on a weekly basis.

Social Enterprise at Wallace Hall Academy

Queensberry Initiative are currently working with pupils, teachers and volunteers to assist in the set up of Wallace Hall Academy's new Social Enterprise. A Social Enterprise is a dynamic business with a social and/or environmental purpose that reinvests any profits back into the enterprise. We are in the very early stages and are meeting with The Social Enterprise Academy who will guide us through the start up process. This will give our pupils an opportunity to use very different skills including business management, marketing, website design, product/customer research and many more. We hope that this will help support the Curriculum for Excellence by providing a practical base to encourage our pupils to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. Watch this space for more information about our Social Enterprise as it evolves

QI Secures Funding for a Further 2 years

The QI team are delighted to receive confirmation of further funding from Dumfries and Galloway Rural LEADER Programme. This financial support will commence in September 2011 and will continue for two years. Other funding for this project is also being donated by the Holywood Trust.

Celebrating Success Event - 6th July 2011

QI hosted their first annual open evening in July 2011. The purpose of the evening was to inform parents, school staff and the local community about the activities of the Queensberry Initiative so far. The evening was a success and the Initiative gained some new volunteers for both the Business Mentoring and Work Placement Schemes.

QI Scoop Top Education Award

The Queensberry Initiative was announced as the winner of the Enterprise and Employability Across Learning Award (Secondary) at the prestigious Scottish Education Awards held on Tuesday 14th June at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow. QI staff and pupils collected this high profile accolade at the glittering ceremony which was hosted by BBC Scotland’s Jackie Bird. QI Development Officer, Pat Kirby, said: “What a thrill it was to travel to Glasgow with some our pupils to collect this fabulous recognition of pupil progress in the outdoor classroom.” This honour highlights the work which the staff of Wallace Hall and the Queensberry Initiative are undertaking to improve the employability of its children and young people. It also underlines the importance placed on providing enterprising opportunities for pupils in a variety of subjects as well as through projects, modules and groups specifically designed to build the skills young people need to make a success of their future careers.

Winner of D & G LEADER Smarter Scotland Award 2010

Queensberry Initiative attended the Dumfries and Galloway Rural LEADER award ceremony on Friday 12 November 2010 and came away with the Smarter Scotland award, a beautiful artisan-produced glass bowl to commemorate the achievements of this innovative partnership project.