Prince William Announced as Patron of Homeless Charity He First Visited with Mom Princess Diana
"The visits I made as a child to this place left a deep and lasting impression upon me," William previously said of joining his mom to visit The Passage as a boy
Prince William is keeping his mother’s memory alive through his philanthropic work.
Ahead of the 36-year-old royal’s visit to The Passage, the UK’s largest resource center for homeless and insecurely housed people, on Wednesday, it was announced that he has become the organization’s Royal Patron.
William has visited the charity on a number of occasions since 1993, when he first visited with his late mother, Princess Diana. His name is even in their guest book from that visit, right under his mother’s.
Those childhood visits, William said during a May 2016 visit to The Passage, made an impact on him and his brother, Prince Harry.
“The visits I made as a child to this place left a deep and lasting impression upon me – about how important it is to ensure that everyone in our society, especially the poorest, are treated with respect, dignity and kindness, and are given the opportunities to fulfill their potential in life,” he shared.
William has made fighting homelessness a key area of his public work, and he followed Princess Diana in being patron of another similar charity, Centrepoint.
Established in 1980, The Passage has helped over 130,000 people in need.
Mick Clarke, Chief Executive of The Passage said, “During His Royal Highness’ visits to The Passage, it has been very clear that he has a deep concern for those affected by homelessness and a real interest in our work. For His Royal Highness to further express his support for The Passage’s work by becoming our Royal Patron is a tremendous honour, and a testament to how much he genuinely cares about this issue.”
Before Wednesday, William most recently visited the organization with wife Kate Middleton in December, when they helped prepare cards and gifts ahead of their Christmas party. William was asked to help make a “Welcome to Xmas Dinner” sign and given an “E” to cut out, leaving Kate to raise an eyebrow and laugh at his art skills.
“My son knows I’m useless at this,” the prince joked. “Catherine is the artsy one.”
On Wednesday, William visited the homelessness charity to join volunteers at their resource center in a lunch shift and to hear how integral volunteering and community support is for the organization and their clients.
The royal dad helped prepare and serve lunch, and hear more about The Passage’s “Home for Good” program, which aims to reduce the incidence of former rough sleepers failing in keeping up with their rental agreements and becoming homeless again. It uses befriending to reduce isolation and build resilience and prevent a return to the streets.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Kate was across town attending a conference championing two causes close to her heart. She attended the Royal Foundation‘s Mental Health in Education conference, which brought together delegates from both mental health and education sectors to explore what more can be done to tackle mental health issues in schools.
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Kate, 37, sat in on a number of discussions during the day full of speakers and panel sessions. These included a conversation on the benefits of integrating mental health modules into teacher training courses, and another on the role of school leaders in creating a culture of well-being in schools. The royal mom also met educators to discuss the issue.