Portland College today were the proud hosts of a visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh as part of a two-day tour of the county visiting providers of the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award Scheme.
To complete the DofE Award, young people, aged 14-24, take part in activities in four categories: improving a Physical activity; learning a new Skill; Volunteering for a cause of choice; and completing a demanding Expedition. Along the way, participants have fun, grow in resilience and self-belief, discover new talents and passions, and learn practical skills to help them in future. DofE is a long-standing programme available to Portland learners, with many achieving the Bronze and/or Silver awards each year.
Today, The Duke of Edinburgh, who is Trustee of the DofE scheme, along with Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and Award Scheme officials, met with Portland learners and staff and watched a demonstration in our Woodland Adventure Zone of the skills they learn towards getting the Award. His Royal Highness also saw how fully accessible the 7 metre climbing wall is, as a learner abseiled down the tower in a bespoke wheelchair!
Portland Learner, Alistair achieved his DofE Bronze Award last year; “I think more people should be into DofE because it’s a great experience. You get to do things you wouldn’t be able to do, I would recommend it to anyone.”
The Duke also the College’s bespoke SMARTHome facility. This uses voice activation technology such as Alexa, Google and Bixby to aid independence, communication and wellbeing. Learners can control a wide range of devices from lighting through to washing machines, vacuum cleaners and fridges.
The Duke ended his tour of the Portland campus by unveiling a plaque officially opening the Newstart Theatre & Sports Hall. His Royal Highness observed more Portland learners taking part in a number of inclusive sporting activities, such as boccia in the state-of-the-art sports hall, and saw the refreshments on offer from learners in the Portland Coffee Shop. Open to the public six days a week, the Coffee Shop provides real-life work experience for Portland learners on a Hospitality & Catering programme.
Portland Charity Chairman, Tim Richmond said: “We are privileged to have welcomed the His Royal Highness to Portland College to see the positive impact the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has on our learners and to showcase our Outstanding facilities. This was a really special occasion for all involved and a great way for our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award learners to celebrate their achievements on the programme.”