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Charity saved by the Duke of Edinburgh scales heights to pay tribute on day of his funeral

The Royal Standard and Scottish and Outward Bound Trust flags are flown on top of Ben Nevis  in tribute to the Duke of Edinburg
The Royal Standard and Scottish and Outward Bound Trust flags are flown on top of Ben Nevis in tribute to the Duke of Edinburg

A charity has gone to great lengths – and heights – to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, its patron for nearly 70 years.

Instructors from The Outward Bound Trust scaled the highest peaks in Scotland, Wales and England – Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike – in memory of Prince Philip.

They raised the Royal Standard, as well as Outward Bound and country specific flags on each peak.

The trust, based in Loch Eil, Lochaber, offers young people the opportunity to experience challenging adventures in the Highlands, Cumbria and in the Welsh Mountains.

The charity was founded in 1941 by The Duke of Edinburgh’s teacher at Gordonstoun and mentor, Kurt Hahn.

No better tribute to the duke

The duke became involved at the charity’s inception as a supporter, before joining its board as patron in 1953.

His involvement, including being an active chairman of the board for many years, continued until he formally retired from the charity in 2019.

Nick Barrett, the trust’s chief executive, said: “We couldn’t think of a better tribute to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, than for some of our instructors to summit the three highest peaks in the UK on the day of his funeral.

“We are sure he would have smiled to know that Outward Bound have chosen to honour him with a dynamic, adventurous activity.

“It’s our small way of acknowledging his life-long support and patronage.”

The Royal Standard,along with the Scottish and Bound Trust flags, on Ben Nevis

The Duke of Edinburgh’s granddaughter, Princess Beatrice, continues the family connection of active involvement as a trustee of the charity and plays an active role in its ongoing development.

Share your memories of Prince Philip

The trust plans to compile a memory book of the duke, to be shared with the Royal Family via the princess.

It is gathering memories of people who met Prince Philip on his many visits to Outward Bound centres and events. Those who didn’t get a chance to meet the duke are also being encouraged to recall how Outward Bound has impacted on their life today, as a participant, teacher, parent or supporter.

People can leave their stories there and a selection will be collated into the memory book.

It is also hoped donations will be made to the charity in memory of the duke to help continue the work he felt passionately about.

A trust spokeswoman said: “The Duke of Edinburgh did a huge amount to raise money for Outward Bound over the years.

“As we come through the pandemic, demand for our work is increasing.

“Outward Bound is as relevant to societal needs as we were when we were founded by the duke’s headmaster and mentor, Kurt Hahn, in 1941.”

The trust was Prince Philip’s longest-standing charity connection. The first Outward Bound centre in Scotland was established in 1949 at the Moray Sea School and in 1977 the charity moved to its current centre at Loch Eil.

Duke saved charity from folding

Last week the charity recalled how Prince Philip saved it from folding in the 1990s by taking on the role of chairman.

At that time, auditors advised that The Outward Bound Trust was on the verge of bankruptcy.

The duke attended the next board meeting in person when it was recommended by a trustee that it be wound up and all assets disposed of.

He then sacked the chairman, the chief executive and most of the trustees.

He appointed new staff and trustees and enlisted the help of supporters to lend money to the charity and underwrite its debts. He remained in the post until 1999, helping to rebuild the trust.

Mr Barrett said: “Without his intervention, Outward Bound would not be here today, and for that alone we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.”

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