Earl of Wessex visits children’s cancer charity and sees music triumph in north west

The Earl of Wessex spent quite a busy day on Thursday, travelling to events in Wigan, Salford, and Manchester. In his role as Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Prince Edward was greeted by The Queen’s Lord -Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr. Warren Smith, before he officially opened The Hamlet at Three Sisters.

Stationed at a previously desolate ranger’s base in the Three Sisters Recreation Area, which has been completely remodelled and updated, The Hamlet helps individuals with special needs take part in The Duke of Edinburgh Award. The amazing work done by the staff is precisely why The Queen’s son wanted to visit, quite remarkable accomplishment considering the organisation has only been up and running for around 12 months.

The Hamlet was nominated for the royal visit by The Duke of Edinburgh’s regional manager of the north, who felt that the work accomplished by the centre in helping people with additional needs should be a shining example to all. The team at the Hamlet has worked hard at finding ways to adapt the award so their participants can execute the four elements needed to complete the award. The elements are skills, physical recreation, voluntary service, and expedition.

Head of provision, Gemma Crompton spoke about the pride that the staff feel at having been recognised for their inspiring works in such a short span of time: “It was a privilege to welcome The Earl of Wessex to see the fantastic work of the young people in achieving The Duke of Edinburgh Award. I’m very passionate about what the award offers young people.”

“It is extremely meaningful in their lives and gives them a lot of skills for the future as well as getting them out in the community and providing a wealth of opportunities. It is a massive achievement for us to have a royal visit. The young people are so worthy of this visit for all the work they have put into what they do.”

Due to receiving a £50,000 grant from Enovert Community Trust, The Hamlet, started by Hope School, has been able to open a cafe for the public to frequent as well as a shop, Lakeside Printing, which creates personalised gifts.

After his time in Wigan, Prince Edward made a stop in Salford, to visit Kidscan –  a children’s cancer research charity, devoted to helping develop new treatments and improved protocols for children suffering from many different forms of cancer.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in children throughout the UK and that is why Kidscan charity is one of the only charities that is dedicated to beating children’s cancer. Their mission is to one day ensure that every child diagnosed with cancer will not only survive but live well on into adulthood.

As of now, 25% of children diagnosed with cancer will not live to see their 30th birthday, Kidscan wants to make it so that the children not only live to see their 30’s but that they have a high quality of life with minimal health complications.

In the evening, The Earl of Wessex attended the 50th Anniversary Gala for the Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

In his role as the school’s patron, Edward attended the very special performance, which was the central event of the anniversary season. The school’s orchestra became the first to perform Gustav Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’, quite a daunting undertaking.

Earl of Wessex attends Chetham’s School of Music’s 50th Anniversary Gala (Photo courtesy of the Royal Family)

Sharing his sentiments about the school, Chetham’s Principal Alun Jones expressed: “Chetham’s is a truly remarkable institution, filled with astonishingly talented young people, and this concert is testament to their dedication and musical ability. To the best of our knowledge, no other school has attempted Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand”, and perhaps no other school could- only here, in the country’s largest community of young musicians, is such a feat possible. “

“It’s a fitting celebration of our Golden Anniversary, and also a triumphant send off for Stephen Threlfall, whose inspirational leadership over the past 24 years has ensured that our music programme remains truly at the forefront of music education. “

Prince Edward meets guests at the 50th Anniversary Gala for the Chetham School of Music (Photo courtesy of the Royal Family)

The concert was also the last show for the School’s Director of Music, Stephen Threlfall, who is leaving his role after 24 years at the school.

After the concert, Prince Edward chatted with a number of students from the school as well as a number of other guests and donors.

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