A team of students got a unique chance to meet one of the Queen’s representatives as the Lord Lieutenant for County Durham paid a visit to Stockton Riverside College.
Taking the opportunity to learn more about the College Group, the Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of the College’s Teesdale campus while also making the time to chat with students and staff.
A former teacher herself, she said: “I think we have a responsibility to encourage our young people to take advantage of every opportunity we can provide for them. Having the best educational facilities available is a crucial part of that.”
Joining a class of young people from the College’s Prince’s Trust Team programmes in Darlington and Catterick, the Lord Lieutenant explained to the students her role as Durham’s personal representative to the Queen; and also, as the County’s first female Lord Lieutenant, she offered a brief snapshot into the title’s heritage.
Describing the students as “fabulous ambassadors for the College”, she said: “My focus when I put down my aims and objectives for the role was about recognising the heritage that we have here. It is about recognising that and then building on it.
“It is my role to contribute and to serve the community. I can only do that if I have an understanding of all of our communities. That is why days like today are so important.”
She added: “I like to have the opportunity to see the diversity and range of opportunities that are available and I have been impressed with what I have seen.
“The students are our tomorrow and they are so deserving of the best that we can give them.”
Stockton Riverside College’s Campus Principal Lesley Graham said: “I was delighted that the Lord Lieutenant was able to visit the Teesdale campus and meet our students and also Year 11 visitors from Stockton schools who had come along to join us for our Explorer Day.
“As a former teacher, Mrs Snowdon was really knowledgeable about education, particularly the barriers that some young people can face today. She is clearly passionate about making sure that students get the best possible chance to fulfil their potential, and her ability to engage with students was really refreshing.”
The College’s Head of Department for the Prince’s Trust Gillian Hutchinson said: “It was an honour to welcome the Lord Lieutenant of Durham to our college and a delight to introduce her to our Prince’s Trust Teams from Darlington and Catterick. Her warmth and genuine interest in supporting young people was incredibly uplifting.”