09 October 2023

The Duke of Edinburgh tours Inverurie Community Campus

School pupils and voluntary groups were just some of those who met The Duke of Edinburgh at Inverurie Community Campus on Saturday (Oct 7).

Aberdeenshire Provost Cllr Judy Whyte welcomed The Duke alongside Aberdeenshire Council Leader Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Deputy Leader and Chair of Communities Committee Cllr Anne Stirling and Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive Jim Savege.

Having been piped into the campus by S6 pupil Olivia Craig, The Duke was introduced to members of Garioch Amateur Swimming Club of which Olympian Hannah Miley was a member. GASC, which recently celebrated 50 years, is a top ten Scottish club and has several swimmers who are competing nationally.

Several community groups and charities also gathered to put on displays during the visit, including Evolving Inverurie and the Uryside Park group, which have delivered several projects in the town and the park.

The Duke also spent time with the teams from Cycling Without Age – a project aimed at helping older people meet others and stay active – and the Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society which staged a display of colourful costumes and photography from past shows.

Talented pupils from Inverurie Academy Scottish Music Group ‘Celtacad’ performed several pieces superbly in the auditorium, before His Royal Highness met members of Inverurie Guides and Scouts, alongside Kuk Sool Won of Inverurie – which is a family-run martial arts club. Time was also spent with Garioch Rugby Club and the Hairy Bikers girls cycling club from Kellands School.  

A tour was also given of the numerous facilities on campus, including the bouldering wall and hydrotherapy pool. The hydrotherapy pool in particular has proved enormously beneficial for pupils of St Andrew’s School which is also based in the campus.

The school works with pupils aged three to 18 who are faced with barriers to learning.

Thanks to the dedicated staff, the school has enabled pupils to participate in The Duke of Edinburgh Award for the third year in a row.

From litter picking in the community to creating memorial gardens, the pupils have relished the chance to get involved.

Gina Drummond, Headteacher, said: “Our pupils have thoroughly enjoyed participating in The Duke of Edinburgh Awards, which has been led by our ASL teacher, Tara Kennedy. Pupils have completed activities such as swimming, dancing, bike ability and boccia, and repeatedly demonstrated their determination to progress through silver, bronze and gold.

“It has been fantastic to have The Duke of Edinburgh on site to demonstrate what we do to enable pupils to not only get involved but enjoy participating in the award.”

Provost Judy Whyte said afterwards: “We are feeling incredibly lucky to have hosted our second royal visit in a matter of days. We are very fortunate to have so many individuals and voluntary groups who work tirelessly to make their community a better place. Inverurie is a fantastic example of people pulling together across the generations, in order to make life that bit better, and of course the campus is a huge asset in enabling such groups to collaborate.”

Council Leader Gillian Owen added: “The work which goes on at the Inverurie Community Campus is inspirational, from that of voluntary groups to the determination which our young people show in putting their best foot forward. I am very impressed by the many individuals who came together today and spoke about their endeavours with such passion. There is no doubt that Inverurie is a community which is not only thriving but paving the way for future generations.”