An Ellesmere College student has described the moment he met the Prince and Princess of Wales as ‘surreal’ – as he had no idea it was about to happen.
Student Adam Thwaite, met the royal couple at an event for World Mental Health Day on Tuesday (October 10th).
The ‘Exploring our Emotional Worlds’ young person’s forum in Birmingham was attended by teenagers from London to Scotland – and many places in between – but it was 17-year-old Adam who the Princess sat next to.
“We were doing creative workshop activities and challenges which may form part of a new service to support young people to have good mental health,” he said.
“During the exercise the Prince and Princess of Wales just appeared. I didn’t know they would be there until they walked in and it was the most surreal moment, especially when the Princess came and sat next to me.
“She asked me questions about what we were doing and how I was finding the activity as well as joining in with the activity herself.
“The Prince and Princess then both spoke about how they maintain positive mental health. It was like they were normal people – they spoke about spending time with friends, eating curry, putting their phones down and spending time with family.
“When they are not working, they just sound like normal people.”
During the day the young people were encouraged to talk about specific mental health challenges their generation faces, explore what more individuals can do to understand and manage their own emotions and discuss solutions.
In her speech the Princess of Wales called for “concrete action” to help the next generation and how they aimed to “shape fairer, safer, kinder, more equal societies”.
The sportsman was encouraged to apply for this role with the charity after he was part of a project where the organisation applied for lottery funding to raise money to help children and young people return to normal activities once Covid lockdowns were lifted.
As part of his Young Ambassador role, Adam created a promotional video to show to other young people how sport and nutrition helps him stay mentally well.
He also attends monthly online workshops with Action for Children, regular events and is currently undertaking a mental health qualification organisation by the charity.
Adam has been a student at Ellesmere College for two years and enjoys being at school with pupils from all over the world, learning about different cultures and customs.
He is also an Ambassador for Hockey Wales and is part of the U18s squad.
Ellesmere College supports Adam in his various roles while completing his studies and staff there allowed him to have the day off to attend the forum on Tuesday (OCT 10).
Adam’s mum Andrea was outside the building while her son attended the forum with a chaperone.
“To get both the Prince and Princess in attendance was incredible,” she said.
“I have really enjoyed asking Adam about his day and what they spoke about.
“I am so proud of him. He is a very active boy and is doing well managing his charity and sports commitments alongside his studies.”