Royals Prince William Celebrates a Cause Princess Diana Inspired Him and Prince Harry to Support Decades Ago The Duke of Cambridge visited The Passage in London to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the organization that aims to prevent and end homelessness By Simon Perry Published on September 30, 2021 02:53 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Julian Simmonds-Telegraph/POOL/Splash Nine months ahead of his own 40th birthday on June 21, Prince William is marking another four-decade milestone for an organization close to his heart — and one he shared with his late mother, Princess Diana. On Thursday, William visited London-based organization The Passage, which was founded in 1980 to provide practical support and a wide range of services to help transform the lives of homeless people. He attended an awards ceremony and reception at the charity's headquarters, meeting volunteers and staff to hear about their experiences serving the community, and he heard from some of those who have been helped by The Passage. Julian Simmonds-Telegraph/POOL/Splash Ending homelessness is a key area of focus for the Duke of Cambridge, who is patron of both The Passage and Centrepoint. Both William and his brother, Prince Harry, were taught early to nurture this passion when Diana took them to The Passage when they were young boys. 'You've Grown:' Homeless Center Volunteer Greets Prince William 23 Years After He First Visited with Diana The Passage runs a resource centre in Victoria, residential and resettlement projects, outreach and health services, homelessness prevention schemes and a pioneering modern slavery referral programme. Since being established, they have helped almost 135,000 people end their homelessness for good. Around Christmastime last year, William quietly visited the charity a few times to help sort supplies into paper bags and chat with volunteers. "Because we thought you might need a good news story!" the organization tweeted. "If we've learnt anything from previous lockdowns, it's the willingness and determination of so many to do what they can to help. We would like to thank staff and volunteers for their work at this time." Julian Simmonds-Telegraph/POOL/Splash Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! Thursday's event was due to take place last year, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, William's office says, COVID-19 has "only increased the demand for the charity's services, with The Passage playing a key role in the conception and implementation of the 'Everyone In' initiative, helping hundreds of people off the streets" of central London.