Yorkshire welcomes Royalty
The Duke of Cambridge brought a touch of Royalty to Yorkshire earlier this week as he paid a visit to some of the county’s local institutions.
HRH Prince William was given a warm welcome in Bradford where he arrived at a national homelessness charity, with a base at the Bradford Foyer in West Bowling, called Centrepoint.
Dozens of children from a nearby school welcomed the Royal Family member outside the gates before he went indoors to meet some of the people whose lives have been helped by the charity.
Used to being in-front of the camera on a daily basis, the Prince was given the chance to experience the other side as he helped shoot footage with members of the Centrepoint Parliament and the Bradford media team in a new media suite.
The Duke spent more than an hour speaking with youths who use the facilities and receive support from staff which has led to many gaining new skills, securing apprenticeships and finding employment.
Martin Gill, Centrepoint’s Head of Housing and Support, said: “There was a high level of excitement among the young people we work with, who the Prince always shows a great interest in.
“A visit like this is so worthwhile and you see the impact it has. It really raises the profile of the work we do.”
Prince William has been a Patron of Centrepoint since 2005, taking on the role his mother, Princess Diana, once held. The charity, which has been operating in Bradford since November 2013, has been working with 328 young people aged 16-25 each day.
Following his engagement at the charity, he was taken for a brief visit to Bradford Grammar School, where he met pupils and staff, before being flown by helicopter to his next destination in East Yorkshire.
The Duke was welcomed to Goole High School as he helped launch a new national award for primary school children.
Launched by SkillForce, a charity - of which Prince William is also Patron of - that draws on the values and skills of ex-Forces personnel to inspire young people to achieve at school, the award is handed to primary schoolchildren who excel in a programme designed to develop character and resilience before stepping up to secondary school.
Peter Cross OBE, Chief Executive of SkillForce explains: “The SkillForce Junior Prince’s Award is designed to engage younger learners in exciting lessons, challenges and community projects that prepare them for secondary education, a time when some students can begin to lose their way.
“Our programme builds up the children’s confidence, resilience, teamwork and problem solving to give them a boost before the start of new adventures and encourage them to take a more active role in their town, city or village.
“It’s SkillForce’s 10th birthday, and we are honoured that our Royal Patron has marked the occasion by lending his support to the Junior Prince’s Award for rollout across the country.”
The Duke met teachers from local primary schools and Goole High who have worked with SkillForce, talked to the students involved, and saw how the charity’s instructors use practical tasks and challenges to engage pupils – notably a ‘D-Day’ bridge building exercise.
SkillForce has worked with 50,000 young people in England, Scotland and Wales throughout the past decade, with the Duke being a Patron since 2009.