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Prince & Princess of Wales

Prince William continues launch of Homewards initiative in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Day two of Prince William’s Homewards launch took him to Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Homewards is a five-year plan to combat homelessness with businesses, local authorities and organisations encouraged to join together and develop plans. For now, the focus will be on six locations with up to 500,000 pounds in funding each to eradicate homelessness.

Hosford House in Belfast is one of the locations chosen. They have been serving the area for over 20 years. East Belfast MP, Gavin Robinson, is ‘delighted’ Hosford House was selected. He said: “Homelessness and housing stress is at an all-time high across our city, with waiting lists for social homes, increased rent prices and a reduction in the number of private properties available to rent. This long-term commitment and investment by The Prince of Wales to support Hosford House is significant, giving hope at a time when homelessness is so prevalent.”

During his visit, Prince William also met with charity representatives and saw some initiatives that have been launched to help with homelessness in Belfast.

One representative was Rev. Brian Anderson with the East Belfast Mission who shared an anecdote about the late Prince Philip with his grandson, Prince William. Back when money was being raised for the building that Prince William was visiting, Prince Philip was in town. He was meeting politicians and civil employees. Prince Philip, with his famous bluntness, said “Why don’t you just give them the money?” Rev. Anderson added, “There was an expletive in there, but I’m not going to say that. And three weeks later, the money turned up.” Prince William, enjoying the story about Prince Philip, saying: “That sounds like my grandfather.”

The Prince of Wales went on to make friends during a quick walkabout. He posed for photographs, gave hugs and petted dogs that came out to greet him. One well-wisher, Sam Sloan, got to shake Prince William’s hand twice: “An absolutely smashing fella, a person of the people,” he said, adding he didn’t want to wash his hand after getting that handshake. He went on to say ”he’s absolutely lovely, Princess Diana all over again.”

After leaving Belfast, Prince William headed to Aberdeen in Scotland.

Known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, he visited the Tillydrone Community Campus. There he spoke with and commended the nurses who are working to prevent homelessness. He inquired more about how the services Tillydrone offers help support people before they reach the point of becoming homeless due to health reasons.

The Duke commented: “You guys have been chosen for a reason. You’ve got ambition, you’re doing amazing work and we want to help what you’re doing. It’s not just about a person sleeping in the street—support services are crucial.”

During the tour, the Duke of Rothesay also took part in a cooking class, met with an arts group, played games with older children and joined in a storytelling and sing-a-long session for toddlers. 

The final stop of the Homewards launch brought Prince William to Sheffield in England.

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