The Duke of Cambridge has been Patron of Centrepoint, the leading charity in the UK which assists homeless youth find housing, employment, education and training, and mental health services since 2005. He took over this position from his mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. After a successful appearance at the 2017 BAFTAs Sunday evening, The Duke visited Centrepoint’s helpline in Central London.
Since 1969, the charity has helped over 100,000 young people. On Monday, the Duke met with advice workers who work these lines. He also joined new recruits during a training session to see how calls with vulnerable youth are managed.
There are 150,000 young people who approach their local councils across the UK for housing assistance each year; approximately one third of them are turned away. This startling statistic was founded by research conducted by Centrepoint. Centrepoint serves as the singular resource for these at-risk youth and in a poll commissioned by the organisation found that 17% of youth felt that they had no safe place to call home. Many sofa-surfed remained in an unstable or unsafe home or located less desirable accommodations on the streets.
Seyi Obakin, Centrepoint’s Chief Executive told the Express: “We take the first step towards realising our ambitious goal to end youth homelessness before it has even begun.” According to Mr. Obackin: “It is clear wherever you look in our towns and cities that homelessness is reaching a crisis point.” Prince William’s helpline has already assisted over 116,000 young people.
According to the Express, the advice workers “offer advice and support on housing issues, as well as issues that impact on housing situations, including mental health, relationships and finances.”
The helpline is a free number, where young people between ages 16 and 25 can call to receive advice and support. Communication can be made over the phone, through text, email or online.