Royal visit a 'dream come true' in Harrogate

"A dream come true" was how one Harrogate student described yesterday's royal visit in town.

Students and staff gave a warm welcome to The Countess of Wessex when she visited Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate yesterday, Thursday.

The countess was given a tour of the college by principal Adrian Sugden and students Nathan Tudge and Holly Golbourne, seeing students, all whom have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in some of the variety of activities designed to help them reach their potential.

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She saw some of the artwork produced by students before trying her hand at weaving.

A visit to the food technology area saw students producing cakes and biscuits, while in the media centre the countess learned more about the college’s Young Enterprise activity, she saw students creating electronic games for other students and visited the recording studio.

This indie legend will take stage on Stray in Harrogate todayNext came a look at some of the specialist areas created by the college for students with autism and profound multiple learning disabilities, including one of the sensory rooms and the sensory garden, and met students using the spaces.

In the Health, Fitness and Leisure centre, the countess saw how trampolining and swimming were used in physiotherapy sessions. She met donors and volunteers, before unveiling a plaque to mark her visit helped by student Sarah Bogue.

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Adrian Sugden said: “We had a fantastic morning and it was great to be able to show The countess some of the many ways we work with students to help them to build confidence and develop independence.”

Student Sarah said: “Meeting the countess was a dream come true.”

The countess was accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Johanna Ropner and guests at the visit included the Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Stuart Martin, and Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Doreen Lee.

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