HRH The Duke of Edinburgh handing over patronage of the Outward Bound…
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HRH The Duke of Edinburgh handing over patronage of the Outward Bound Trust

At The Outward Bound Trust board meeting in March 2019, it was announced that The Duke of Edinburgh is handing over the Patronage of the outdoor educational charity, The Outward Bound Trust, to which His Royal Highness has given 65 years of service and unwavering personal commitment.

His Royal Highness first became a Trustee of The Outward Bound Trust in 1953. It was his ongoing support that was instrumental in the spreading of the Outward Bound mission to more than 30 countries worldwide, helping over 1.2 million young people in the UK alone to participate in experiential outdoor learning programmes which develop character and instil self-belief and resilience.

Kurt Hahn, the visionary educationalist who founded Gordonstoun School, set up Outward Bound in 1941. The Duke of Edinburgh, following his education at Gordonstoun School, supported Outward Bound and both men were instrumental in the creation of The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. His Royal Highnesses’ own experience with Hahn’s philosophies of education has always provided a unique connection with the young people attending Outward Bound throughout the decades.

Duke of Edinburgh visits Aberdovey

Nick Barrett, Chief Executive of The Outward Bound Trust comments: “Both The Outward Bound Trust and The Duke of Edinburgh Award programme have helped instil purpose, resilience, a sense of adventure and fun in millions of young people in the UK and many countries overseas. The Duke of Edinburgh has always stayed remarkably close to our charity. His Royal Highness has advised and challenged the Board, but also engaged brilliantly and directly when meeting with the young people who have benefited from our programmes. The Duke of Edinburgh’s involvement has gone far beyond any mere call of duty, we are immensely thankful but also stronger for all his intelligent and thoughtful direction and interventions.”

The Duke of Edinburgh has remained fully engaged with The Trust reading board papers, hosting dinners and visiting Outward Bound centres in the English Lake District, Snowdonia, Wales and the Scottish Highlands to meet with young people and support our work.

Deputy Patron of Outward Bound, Sir Chris Bonington says: “I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank The Duke of Edinburgh for his enduring and unflappable commitment to changing the lives of so many young people through outdoor adventurous learning. It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside him.”

The Trust is delighted that HRH Princess Beatrice of York was elected to the Board of The Outward Bound Trust as a Trustee.

  • 1941 - The Outward Bound Trust was founded by Kurt Hahn and Lawrence Holt. The first sea school was opened in Aberdovey, Wales.
  • 1949 – A second Outward Bound sea school opens in Moray, Scotland
  • 1950s – The Outward Bound Trust is first recognised as the leading exponent of ‘character training’. Two new mountain schools open at Eskdale and Ullswater in The Lake District.
  • 1951 – The first course exclusively for women is run at Eskdale in The Lake District
  • 5 March 1953 – The Duke of Edinburgh officially becomes a Trustee, then Chairman of the Board of The Outward Bound Trust
  • 1963 – The Outward Bound school opens at Rhowniar
  • 1966 – The Duke of Edinburgh becomes Patron of Outward Bound Australia
  • 1969 – The Duke of Edinburgh becomes Patron of Outward Bound Canada
  • 1969 – The Duke of Edinburgh becomes Patron of Outward Bound International
  • 1977 - Outward Bound Loch Eil opens in Scotland, replacing the Moray Sea School
  • 1980/90s – Outward Bound goes through a transition from providing only month long courses to develop shorter courses suitable for the modern world
  • 1999 - The Duke of Edinburgh becomes Patron of The Outward Bound Trust in the UK
  • 2001 – The Outward Bound Trust celebrates its Diamond Jubilee
  • 2005 – A new wharf is built at Aberdovey, the opening is attended by The Duke of Edinburgh
  • 2008 – Outward Bound Howtown opens in the Lake District
  • 2012 – 'Descent of the Shard', the longest ever civilian abseil and a ground breaking fundraising event raises over £2.8million in one day for The Trust
  • 2015 – Outward Bound go into partnership with the The National Trust to open a new centre at Ogwen Cottage in Wales
  • 2016 – The £3 million re-development of our Ullswater centre is completed and is visited by The Duke of Edinburgh on his final formal visit to an Outward Bound centre.
  • 2021 – The Outward Bound Trust reaches it's 80th anniversary, with over 1.2 million young people in the UK having attended courses since its founding

Further Reading

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