CUMNOCK Academy pupil Morven Kelso made a grand entrance at Dumfries House when she became the 1,000th participant of a creative project.

Staff and Morven’s schoolmates celebrated the milestone on Monday, May 8, at a session of the Future Textiles group at The Atelier, an attic workshop in the mansion.

Morven said: “It’s great to be the 1,000th pupil on the programme here. My gran, Anna Murphy, started teaching me to knit when I was seven years old and I’m currently knitting items to help local people with dementia.

“At school, we have used textiles and sewing to produce pyjamas and t-shirts, and we are learning more and more new skills here at Dumfries House.”

Kobi Freel, a classmate of Morven who was part of the Cumnock Academy team who finished runner-up at last year’s Dress In A Day schools’ competition at Dumfries House, added: “I really like sewing and find it amazing how doing lots of little things throughout a process can create this big finished article.

“I’ve received lots of skills and encouragement at school and here at Dumfries House and I am interested in perhaps taking a college course in textiles once I leave school.”

Since Future Textiles started in September 2016, pupils from across Scotland — more than 1,000 now — have learned from experts such skills as sewing, weaving, and product design.

Pupils who show a particular aptitude and interest can enrol on a more advanced, certificated course in The Atelier that has proven to increase their chances of gaining a place in further education and, later, employment.

Caroline Nicolson, Cumnock Academy’s principal teacher of home economics for more than 20 years, said: “People are increasingly interested in creating bespoke products. The resource here at Dumfries House is fabulous for our own pupils’ development of skills and enthusiasm for textiles.

“Their experience on the Future Textiles programme inspires them to be creative and and work harder.”