Stonehaven’s Mackie Academy received a special visitor this week, when Prince Harry paid a visit to the school as part of his first official visit to the North-East.
The Prince arrived at the school at 10.15am and was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire Carol Kinghorn, Head teacher Louise Moir and a group of pupils from the school.
Harry was visiting the school for a Diana Award Mentoring Training Day, which aims to instill social action, build character, develop skills and improve the life chances of young people. The programmes ensure that ‘hard to reach’ young people are supported to discover their passions and map their career or further education routes.
Over 60 young people from across Scotland attended the event at Mackie to become youth mentors in their schools with the ‘Diana Award Light Touch Mentoring Programme’. The peer to peer programme gives young people the skills to effectively support and mentor a group of younger students including the creation and delivery of a community-based project.
The programme aims to highlight the role that youth mentors can play to support their peers, redefning the idea that mentors need to be of a certain age and demographic. Understanding that young people are more likely to confide in a peer rather than parents or educators, the Diana Award’s peer led approach trains young people to act as mentors to their peers.
After his engagement at Mackie, the Prince headed for Aberdeen where he was due to visit Streetsport at Robert Gordon University. The initiative, by the Denis Law Trust, delivers sport and creative activities with the aim of reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour.
Streetsport works in 14 different locations each week around the city, working with a range of partners, including Transition Extreme.
Transition Extreme Sports was the final stop.
Based at the Adventure Sports Centre on Aberdeen’s beach, the charity uses extreme sports, art and music to encourage young people to take an active role in their own development.