Ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral tomorrow, Nick Barrett, the chief executive of The Outward Bound Trust, said the Duke of Edinburgh was dedicated to improving young people’s lives through outdoor education in Cumbria.
Prince Philip, who died last Friday aged 99, was a staunch supporter of the Outward Bound Trust.
Nick said: “He was a wonderful man. The kind of person you can’t help but admire. He had a lifelong commitment to the development of young people and genuinely engaged with every young person he met.
“Prince Philip’s relationship with Outward Bound started in 1953 and spanned many decades.
“He was passionately devoted to Outward Bound and it was one of the very last patronages he gave up when he retired from public service in 2017.”
As a chairman and patron of the charity, he was a regular visitor to the trust’s Ullswater sites in Howtown and Watermillock.
He rarely missed a trip to Lowther Horse Trials and when attending would always be sure to drop in at the centres to engage with the staff and young people on a personal level.
Nick said in 2016 when Prince Philip, by then in his 90s, came to the Watermillock site and walked more than a quarter of a mile to the lake and back again while meeting a raft of excited young people.
He added that while not only a physical feat for the nonagenarian, the Duke of Edinburgh also showed genuine engagement and interest in the lives of these children.
“He was also a tireless fundraiser on behalf of Outward Bound,” added Nick.
“Over the years he literally raised millions of pounds to enable disadvantaged youngsters to come to Ullswater and learn how to believe in themselves.”
Once at a fundraiser in a London hotel, Nick’s wife got her shoe stuck in an elevator.
He said that the prince was quick as a flash and leapt down to retrieve the shoe and nobly presented it to her.
Nick said: “He had an approach of ‘get on and do’. Learn by doing, respond to a challenge and get on with it” and added that it was a no-nonsense approach that drove Outward Bound today.
“He believed inside every child was huge potential which could be unlocked. They just need a way for them to understand there is more in them than they ever thought possible,” said Nick.
The trust is in the process of creating a book of memories, with a more formal recognition of the Duke’s service to Outward Bound coinciding with the group’s 80th anniversary in autumn.