08 June 2023
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visited Woodrow High House, one of London Youth’s outdoor residential centres, as part of his patronage of the charity.
Woodrow High House is a grade II listed manor house in the Chilterns, steeped in history dating back to the 1600s. It was likely built mid-17th century, with notable residents including the Tyrwhitt-Drake family and wife and daughters of Oliver Cromwell. In one of the hallways a bust of Prince Philip by sculptor to the stars Frances Segelman is proudly displayed. It was commissioned to mark 50 years of his work with the charity.
Outdoor learning is a key tenet of London Youth’s. The charity believes that all young Londoners – especially those who have limited opportunities to leave the city for a day trip, or overnight stay – should have access to outdoor adventure.
On 6th of June 2023, The Duke of Edinburgh – who took over his father’s historic patronage of London Youth in 2020, before Prince Philip’s death – retraced his father’s steps at Woodrow. He was welcomed by the centre’s staff team alongside senior leaders at London Youth and given a walking tour of the expansive grounds. The tour included face to face meetings with outdoor instructors and children and young people from visiting schools.
The Duke of Edinburgh also met with representatives from London Youth’s Youth Board, who gathered around the outdoor bushcraft circle to welcome The Duke and share their experience of being young advisors to the charity.
The tour of the grounds ended on a literal high at the site of the centre’s High Ropes activity, where The Duke was able to witness first hand a group of young people experiencing the thrills and adventure of outdoor learning.
The Duke of Edinburgh was then treated to a very special viewing of archival materials on the history of the centre, featuring pictures of his late father and visitors’ books signed by Prince Philip when he visited Woodrow. This was followed by a reception with friends and funders of Woodrow High House.
His Royal Highness Prince Philip had been a patron of London Youth for over 70 years, his first charity patronage. During this time he visited Woodrow High House, one of the charity’s two outdoor residential centres, four times. His most recent visit was in 2013.
Rosemary Watt-Wyness, Chief Executive of London Youth said:
“Getting into the countryside and the natural environment can have a profoundly positive effect on young people’s personal and social development. At our two outdoor learning centres, Woodrow High House and Hindleap Warren, young people learn and have fun, developing lifelong skills and confidence. We were so thrilled to host our patron, The Duke of Edinburgh, at Woodrow. It was a pleasure to watch him honour the work his late father did for the centre and make brand new memories with young people and staff. Together, we celebrated the impact of outdoor learning and the importance of the youth sector.”
Ose, Youth board member, said:
“What I love about Woodrow is that it’s an accessible place for people who live in London to experience the wilderness. When I heard that The Duke of Edinburgh was coming to Woodrow I felt excited to be able to meet him and show him what we’ve been doing. It was great to see the effort and work that we put in as Youth Board members being recognised by London Youth’s Patron. Sometimes people who you usually see in the media can feel inaccessible to someone my age, and I feel like I represented other young Londoners in that moment.”