We’ve had a right royal time….Ahoy HRH Prince Edward

It’s not everyday you expect to have a member of the royal family don lifejacket and deck shoes and jump aboard Challenge Wales. But as part of a Royal UK Tour to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) that is exactly what happened!

On a damp day in Cardiff Bay,  HRH Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex, was introduced to some of the Challenge Wales volunteers and Trustees before being introduced to some of the young people who had worked with Challenge Wales on one of the DofE Award elements.

Trainees and volunteers lining up ready to welcome HRH Prince Edward, with Challenge Wales in the background

Trainees and volunteers lining up ready to welcome HRH Prince Edward, with Challenge Wales in the background

Challenge Wales has been an Approved Activity Provider for the DofE for the last few years and has welcomed many young people for their Gold Residential. If you aren’t aware of the DofE scheme it’s an opportunity for young people aged under 24 years to learn new skills, take part in volunteering, undertake physical activity, go on an expedition and for the Gold award, there is an extra element of a residential activity – meeting new people, experiencing new things, working as a team which must be away from home and for a minimum of 5 days. So, for Residential DofE activities, Challenge Wales fits the bill perfectly.

After the introductions and formalities were over, HRH was accompanied to Challenge Wales by some of our trainees…but of course not before he had spoken to some of the parents and family members who were providing moral support to those about to board Challenge Wales.

Two of the Challenge Wales trainees accompany HRH Prince Edward to Challenge Wales (photo by R Batten)

Two of the Challenge Wales trainees accompany HRH Prince Edward to Challenge Wales (photo by R Batten)

After the safety briefing onboard, Challenge Wales released her lines and motor sailed across Cardiff Bay. As Challenge Wales got nearer to her destination; Cardiff White Water centre, the mist seemed to lift. The young people showed HRH the ropes, hanking on a sail, working the snake pit, winching and helming before the voyage ended.

Challenge Wales motoring past the St Davids Hotel, Cardiff Bay

Challenge Wales motoring past the St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay (photo by M Horwood)

It was certainly a day to remember for those involved in this special Royal voyage.  We understand HRH had himself done sailing as part of his DofE when he was younger….no wonder he blends in well as one of the crew in the picture below!

HRH Prince Edward onboard Challenge Wales, before departing for the rest of his Royal visit in Cardiff

HRH Prince Edward onboard Challenge Wales, before departing for the rest of his Royal visit in Cardiff

Not only was it great to have a special visitor onboard Challenge Wales but it was fantastic to see how some of our young people had developed since undertaking their DofE with us. Just one of the many journeys that Challenge Wales helps young people with!

A royal wave from trainees and volunteers

A royal wave from trainees and volunteers


Challenge Wales is ideal for DofE Gold Residential providing a variety of voyages in 2017 that will suit the requirements of the award. For more information visit www.challengewales.org For more information on the DofE visit www.dofe.org

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