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 meeting young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).
To achieve a DofE Award, young people, aged 14-24, take part in activities in four sections: improving a Physical activity; learning a new Skill; Volunteering for a cause of their 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 the future. DofE is a long-standing programme available to Portland learners, with many achieving their Bronze and/or Silver Awards each year.
Today, The Duke of Edinburgh – who is Patron of the DofE charity – along with Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, met with Portland learners and staff and watched a demonstration in our Woodland Adventure Zone of the skills they learn while doing their DofE. 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 Bronze DofE 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 visited the College’s bespoke SMARTHome facility. This uses voice activation technology such as Alexa, Google and Bixby to aid independence, communication and well-being. 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.
To end his visit, His Royal Highness sampled 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.”