Royal seal of approval as Prince Edward visits FetLor
The Earl of Wessex HRH Price Edward officially opened a new £2.5m centre for one of the UK’s oldest youth support organisations during a visit to Edinburgh on Wednesday.
His Royal Highness visited the new FetLor youth centre on Crewe Road South to officially open the centre and meet with a range of young people from local community groups as well as city dignitaries. The new building has been shortlisted for the Royal Institute of Architecture for Scotland (RIAS) 2017 awards.
As the senior Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Awards, the Earl also met with groups supported by Fetlor working towards different levels of the awards.
Fetlor Youth club, which now has more than 300 active members aged 7-17 and hope to increase that in their new facility. It’s history spans back to 1924 when the headmasters of Loretto and Fettes College proposed the formation of a Boy’s Club in Edinburgh to commemorate the sacrifice of the 371 former pupils of the schools in the First World War. The club provides a range of educational, social and recreational opportunities for children from deprived areas of Edinburgh with an emphasis on outdoor activities such as mountain biking, kayaking and hiking.
The Club had various premises across Edinburgh before it settled in its current location. and has provided many life-changing opportunities for young people in North Edinburgh since 1956. It has also provided significant social support to young people through working in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council.
In 2006 the board launched an £2.5M appeal to replace the aging military huts that the Club was based in. The new Club facilities provide an important community space to engage with young people around a number of activities.
The Earl of Wessex was shown around the development by Alastair Salvesen CBE, Chair of Fetlor Youth Club Endowment Trust and himself a DofE Gold Award Holder. His Royal Highness was served lunch prepared by ‘Feast’, a social enterprise who will shortly move into the youth club kitchen with a long-term goal of training young people in the food industry. After that His Royal Highness met a range of community groups connected with Fetlor, including:
- Fetlor Youth Board
- Primary and Senior Youth Clubs
- Broughton DofE Group
- Broughton Heritage and Inclusion Project.
Commenting after the visit, Alastair Salvesen CBE, Chair of Fetlor Youth Club Endowment Trust, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to show His Royal Highness around Fetlor and we are very grateful to him for taking so much time and to meet with the staff and young people.
“Fetlor provides fantastic support to local young people, helping them learn new practical as well as social skills. As someone who completed the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards many years ago I know the kind of benefits it can bring across a lifetime and am very proud that Fetlor is at the forefront of helping more young people complete this kind of achievement.
“In our previous facility we were only able to assist about 100 young people but with this new facility this has already increased by another 200 and will grow further if we can find a suitable number of staff and volunteers able to come and work with us.”
Amy Henderson, Youth Manager at Fetlor, said: “As someone who grew up in Muirhouse, I know how much young people in this area can achieve if they are provided with the right kind of opportunities which is what we try and do at Fetlor. They can try a range of outdoor activities in a safe environment and the young people really see the benefit of that in their lives.”
“For everyone here to have a chance to explain what we do to the Earl of Wessex has been really special and it has been fantastic both for the staff, volunteers and young people to have that kind of endorsement of what we do here.