Prince William has written a letter urging the readers of the Independent to support the paper’s Christmas appeal. The appeal supports Centrepoint and the valuable work it is striving to do for the young homeless as we head towards, not only Christmas but also towards what is forecast to be the coldest Winter for five years. The charity, which has Prince William as Patron, is endeavouring to launch a helpline for those either homeless or at risk of being homeless between the ages of 16 and 25.
They estimate that across Britain this Christmas 25,000 young people are at risk of being homeless, and in a recent survey they found 1 in 3 young people who turn to local councils when faced with this crisis in their lives are turned away unaided.
The Duke told the Independent: “Ending youth homelessness is not just about putting a roof over someone’s head. It’s about teaching a young person to read and write. It’s about helping them live with the consequences and abuse and neglect. It’s about stopping people becoming homeless in the first place. As a society, we have a duty to help our most vulnerable young people.”
By supporting the lifeline, he continued: “you have the chance to save young lives”.
The Christmas appeal by the Independent is also being supported by their appeal partners London Evening Standard and the “I” newspaper.
Primarily, the money raised will go towards the setting up of the helpline, this will give young people at risk of being homeless a number to ring where they will get immediate access to a trained adviser. That adviser will be able to ensure they receive all the help that they need straight away. In addition to the helpline, money will also be used to fund not only hostel places to put roofs over their heads, but also to further help young people in this position by giving them skills to find their own job and a home of their own.
Centrepoint has been aiding young people who find themselves at risk of being homeless or indeed homeless since 1969 through its hostels and is now seeking more ways to provide vital support. As the Prince said: “Over the past decade, I have met hundreds of courageous and inspiring young people trying to escape homelessness. Unfortunately, their courage alone is not enough”. With charities, such as Centrepoint, and organisations such as The Princes’ Trust which provides many opportunities for young people across the country, that courage may be matched with vital support and assistance.