We were absolutely delighted to welcome London Youth’s Patron, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT to Woodrow High House. Woodrow is London Youth’s residential learning centre in Buckinghamshire and this was Prince Philip’s fourth visit to the Centre.
The theme of the visit was to celebrate the successful completion of the first phase of our Wonderful Woodrow appeal. The aim of Wonderful Woodrow is to safeguard Woodrow High House for visiting young people for the next 30 years. After a welcome from the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Prince Philip was taken on a tour of the House by Martin Curtis Woodrow’s Head of Centre.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we’ve already fundraised nearly £800,000, and Martin showed His Royal Highness the work that has already been completed to the roof, render and windows of the Grade Two listed, seventeenth century High House. As a result of the Wonderful Woodrow appeal we’ve safeguarded the skin of the building so that the next generation of visiting young people can continue to benefit from everything Woodrow has to offer.
A further theme of the visit was to raise awareness of the final phase of the appeal – we are trying to raise a further £200,000 to reach our target of £1 million by this summer. Amongst other things success will mean we can refurbish all of the young people’s bedrooms within the House and His Royal Highness also viewed some of the work that still needs to be done.
Despite heavy rain Prince Philip was very keen to talk to some of the young people in residence at Woodrow who were out braving the elements to complete orienteering and rocket building activities. The Portfields School are Woodrow regulars and the children were very excited by the chance to meet the Royal visitor.
Prince Philip then joined some of the children from the school, some of the young people from the Woodrow apprentice instructor scheme and members of London Youth’s youth advisory board, Dare London, for lunch in the Assembly Room. Over the meal Prince Philip quizzed the young people about the ways that Woodrow improved their personal and social development.
His Royal Highness then moved on to the Sports Centre to meet and thank some of the Wonderful Woodrow supporters and volunteers who have helped to make the appeal such a success.
We are very lucky to have had Prince Philip as our Patron since 1946 and this was his fourth visit to Woodrow High House. As a result of his enthusiasm and passion for our work with young people, the persistent rain on the day failed to dampen anyones spirits and it was an extremely memorable occasion for all concerned.