Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal Visits Specialist College in Birmingham

Posted on the 26th March 2018

On the 20th March 2018, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited Queen Alexandra College (QAC) to see the support Lattitude Global Volunteering volunteers from Ecuador give to students at the specialist college.

The visit marked QAC’s 20th anniversary as an independent charity, as well as the 25th anniversary of Lattitude Global Volunteering working in Ecuador.  The Princess Royal is Patron of Lattitude and the visit was an opportunity for her to gain further insight into the college and the work that the volunteers carry out there.

QAC is a national specialist charity for people with disabilities based in Harborne. The college offers a range of courses and opportunities for people with disabilities to realise their potential to live and work independently. QAC has worked closely with Lattitude for over a decade, with many volunteers from across the globe working at the college each year.

As part of the visit, Her Royal Highness toured the college starting with Independence Street, an innovative campus feature that helps students navigate their environment, in particular road safety.  The Princess Royal was greeted by the Mobility team who gave a demonstration of sighted guiding – a technique used for people who are blind or visually impaired – as well as a student demonstrating wheelchair mobility.

Her Royal Highness then met with  students in QAC’s Bradbury centre and was given an overview of the range of disabilities that QAC and Lattitude volunteers support.

First stop was a student group showing The Princess Royal some science experiments they had been working on throughout the week and others celebrated the first day of Spring by planting some colourful planters for their parents.  The students were happy to explain why they had chosen the various flowers and what they were learning about seasons and looking forward to Easter.

Her Royal Highness then joined more students and staff to learn more about life at QAC and how it has impacted their lives.  Students told of the support they get and what they enjoy about the College, and staff outlined  the many changes they’ve seen over the last twenty years and why it is such a special place to work.

QAC Performing Arts students took to the stage showcasing their talents to the audience, which now included local dignitaries and other guests joining the celebration. Lattitude Ecuadorian volunteers gave an emotive presentation about their experience in the UK and how the volunteering they are doing has been enjoyable and life changing.

Mr Greg Clark, CEO of Lattitude said ‘For 25 years, Lattitude Global Volunteering has been sending young volunteers between the U.K. and Ecuador in both directions.  We are grateful that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited our long-term partner, Queen Alexandra College, saw first-hand the tireless contribution of our Ecuadorian charity volunteers, and witnessed the importance of such youth, community and educational links between countries and cultures’

Mr Ian Richards, QAC’s Vice Chair of Governors commented, ‘QAC is proud of its history and strong relationship with Lattitude, today was a great way to celebrate this. For students, the opportunity to meet Her Royal Highness Princess Royal was amazing and is something that will stay with them for a very long time’.


From all of us here at Lattitude, we would like to say a massive thank you to QAC, HRH The Princess Royal and our volunteers for all of their hard work!

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