Donning an apron and rolled-up sleeves, Prince William got to work in the kitchen at The Passage during his first official engagement as patron. “I’ve come in to mess up your lunch,” he said with a laugh.
The Prince first visited the homelessness charity in 1993 with his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and he has returned on several occasions both for public and private visits. Yesterday, it was announced he had become their official patron.
Joining chef Nour Shab in the kitchen, Prince William chopped carrots and spoke with volunteers as they prepared a lunch of spaghetti bolognese. He then served a lunch shift, chatting and sharing smiles with clients as he told them to enjoy their meals.
William served lunch alongside Malcolm, a man who has been volunteering at The Passage’s Westminster centre for 21 years. Between eight and ten volunteers work in the kitchen each day to make meals for clients.
In addition to serving meals, volunteers help in a variety of roles, with 450 regular volunteers working around the clock, 365 days a year.
According to Kensington Palace, The Passage supported 2,651 homeless people in 2017/18.
Prince William also learned more about The Passage’s Home for Good Programme. Pairing clients with local volunteers, Home for Good aims to help the formerly homeless settle back into community life, employment, and their new homes. Prince William met with both clients and volunteers in the programme.
Founded in 1980, The Passage is the largest resource centre for homeless and insecurely housed people across the UK.
In a statement released to announce his new patronage, William said, “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 fulfil their potential in life.”