The Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate has received a visit from HRH The Princess Royal today (September 30).
Students and staff from the school gathered to welcome HRH, who arrived by helicopter, landing on the school field.
The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) was welcomed to the school by headteacher Simon Pullen, who then escorted her to the theatre, where she met with groups of students from a variety of year groups.
The Princess Royal wanted to meet with some of the young people at the school who overcame adversity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The students had the opportunity to talk about the challenges they overcame and their successes. The school says the students worked incredibly hard during a difficult time, showing great resilience in overcoming emotional personal challenges.
The Princess Royal then went on to meet with a selection of staff from Royal Harbour Academy and Charlton Athletic, which made a significant impact actively supporting the school community throughout the lockdown.
Becky Wing, from Charlton Athletic Community Trust, was among the guests at the school. She said: “Princess Anne spent lots of time talking to students and was genuinely interested and had done her research.
“I mentioned the efforts of Ramsgate Town Council in setting up the food collection and distribution centre that literally supplied all Thanet food banks, Sharon Goodyer and our own Carl Whitehead of our Salvation Army. We always maximise outcomes by working together and I for one am proud to have quietly been a part of all this. We still collect M&S food waste and the 1000’s of food deliveries made during the lockdown helped so many, including some of the young people and families I work with; I was happy to help throughout as were so many others. It was scary and uncertain times for us all but together we survive.
“So proud of all at the Royal Harbour Academy.”
Becky also revealed that a gift given to the Princess Royal included one of the Pugin tiles designed by a student as part of the project where they were installed on the steps at Kent Place.
The school says staff went above and beyond to not only ensure students had access to work to support home learning, but also provided mental wellbeing support to both students and parents, monitored the safety of the students and families, organised and delivered hundreds of food parcels during the winter lockdown, and tried to make the students feel connected, important and special, through the lockdown.
Lastly, The Princess Royal met with staff from the Education Business Partnership Kent (EBPK), based within the school, to talk about the young people they supported daily throughout the lockdown. EBPK played a pivotal role during the pandemic, providing valuable advice to young people at a time of extreme uncertainty.
At the end of the visit, HRH retired for a buffet provided by the school catering team, using home-grown produce from the RHA garden, before setting off for her next engagement.
Mr Pullen said: “It has been a great honour to have The Princess Royal visit us, and all the students and staff at the Royal Harbour Academy wish to thank HRH for her time.”