The Prince of Wales was hailed as a future “king of balloon making” after he created his very own crown, from a balloon. When Charles joined a group of Jewish school children making balloon toys for youngsters with serious illnesses he did not need to be asked twice when offered a chair and a long thin blue balloon. The heir to the throne wrapped it around his head to make sure it fitted, then expertly twisted the ends together under the guidance of Rabbi Avrohom Zeidman. Around him the pupils from Yavneh College, a Jewish school in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, were sat in a circle busily working away on their crowns. When he completed the final twist and was left holding the finished head piece Charles smiled and laughed. Rabbi Zeidman, who is a senior educator with the charity Gift (Give It Forward Today), said: “I think this is an excellent royal crown. I will definitely give this to someone saying it was made by the Prince.” Gift encourages young people to get involved with volunteering and social action and the balloons will be donated to Camp Simcha, a charity which works to improve the quality of life for children with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. The Rabbi added: “I think the Prince was great, after one or two more hours practice he would be king of balloon making.”
Charles was impressed by what he saw at the school, from the confident way some of the older students talked about the personal development skills they had gained from after-school activities to the voluntary service undertaken by other students. The Prince was joined by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis during his visit and he toured a technology class where pupils were making mobile phone holders. Charles chatted to Josh Bond, 14, who was making the main plastic body of the device, asking the teenager “do you enjoy this?”, to which Josh replied “I love it”. Later, the heir to the throne chatted to Yavneh College students involved in the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB) from several of its groups across Hertfordshire. The organisation works alongside the school and helps train and develop young people of the Jewish faith across the UK to reach their potential through active citizenship and national volunteering awards within both the Jewish and wider community. The newly formed JLGB wind band made up of Yavneh pupils gave their first ever demonstration – which left ears ringing. JLGB is part of Youth United, an umbrella organisation which has the Prince as founder and patron, and which funds the creation of new volunteering places for youngsters in deprived and disadvantaged areas of the country. During a special assembly, the Prince praised the school, saying: “It’s a truly remarkable place and, apart from the appalling disruption I’ve probably caused to all your studies, for me it’s been a remarkable insight into the way in which this particular Jewish school is run. “I’ve been enormously impressed by so many of the things you do – the fact you have so much community involvement and that you fit so many different things into your school programme is something remarkable. “Clearly it ends up producing some very special people at the end of the whole process.”
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