The Duke of Edinburgh tested his chocolate-making skills while visiting Harry Specters in Cambridgeshire Business Park in Ely. The chocolate company works to create employment opportunities for young autistic people.
The Duke was there as Harry Specters celebrated its 10th anniversary. Between 2018 and 2021, more than 30,000 employment hours and 1,800 work experience hours have been provided for young autistic people. Mona Shah, the co-founder of the company who has an autistic son, is heavily involved with the company and spoke of The Duke’s visit:
“It went amazingly well. We’re so honoured that His Royal Highness took the time to come here.
“The team were really, really excited and looking forward to it, and I think the day’s gone really well.”
The mayor of the city of Ely, local member of Parliament Lucy Frazer, and the chair of Cambridgeshire County Council were some of the people who joined The Duke as he learned about the firm’s history, chatted with employees and even tasted some of the chocolate. Mona said His Royal Highness picked the apple cinnamon as the first chocolate to try. He also wanted to try the mango raspberry, passion fruit and lemongrass.
After his visit to Harry Specters, the Duke visited the Viva Theatre in Soham and the Bar Hill Village Hall to visit the Cambridgeshire Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Open Award Centre. As patron of the award charity, he met with volunteers and young people making a difference through their DofE. A registered charity, the Open Award Centre delivers all levels of the DofE to young people in Cambridgeshire.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award helps young people build a life-long belief in themselves while offering support to take on their own challenges. It helps people gain essential skills for work and life, such as enhancing CVs, problem-solving, and team-working.