His Royal Highness Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex attended an away day in the county of Derbyshire on Wednesday (27 September) where he had four engagements.
The Queen’s youngest son began the day meeting children at charity CHICKS – Country Holidays for Inner City Kids. The charity provides disadvantaged children with the opportunity to experience fun respite breaks in the countryside for free, allowing them to make positive memories during their school holidays. Since 1992 the charity has helped over 14,000 children, many of whom have been victims of bullying and abuse, by hosting them at their camps.
During his visit Prince Edward officially opened Daleside Retreat, the third of CHICKS’ camps, unveiling a plaque marking the charities 25th anniversary. The Earl was clearly delighted to meet with the children and volunteers, even gamely stepping into paint a plate in the craft barn.
The Earl’s second stop of the day was at St Oswald’s Church in Ashbourne to view an exhibition of the town’s treasures and history which includes the Tomb of Penelope Boothby, sculpted by Thomas Bank in 1791. Prince Edward toured the exhibition in the church – which is said to date back to 1210 – signed the guestbook and congratulated organisers and volunteers on all of their hard work and dedication bringing the exhibition together.
From St Oswald’s Church, Edward journeyed on to the University of Derby where he opened the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) centre and sat in on a couple of classes, spoke to students studying Metallography, learned about 3D printing and was shown the centre’s new wind tunnel. The university will become a Duke of Edinburgh Award licensed organisation from 1 October of this year.
The Earl of Wessex ended his day of engagements in Derbyshire at Trent College, located on the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, to help celebrate the school’s 150th anniversary. Prince Edward unveiled a commemorative plaque and had the opportunity to meet and watch students preparing for their Duke of Edinburgh Awards by participating in camping activities on the school fields.