Prince William continues tour of UK to launch plan to solve homelessness

The new Homewards campaign announced its final three locations

Continuing his campaign launch of Homewards, The Prince of Wales visited the final three locations which will form the start of his initiative to end homelessness.

Today, William was in Belfast, Aberdeen and Sheffield.

Homewards is a five-year locally-led programme where The Royal Foundation will help local partners to form coalitions with committed individuals, groups, and businesses to create and deliver a tailored plan to prevent homelessness in their areas.

William continued his Homewards campaign launch. (Kensington Palace).

The Prince of Wales began his day in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he visited the East Belfast Mission.

William heard about the organisation’s work to tackle homelessness and their new housing development ‘240’. East Belfast Mission is part of the Methodist Church in Ireland, and runs a number of projects to help the community across the region, which helps tackle homelessness.

Here, the Royal met with representatives from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid, MACS Supporting Children and Young People, Simon Community and the Welcome Organisation. Prince William met refugee Mehrshad Esfandiari from Iran who used the services, and now owns his own home.

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After the visit to East Belfast Mission, William conducted a brief walkabout, where one lady told him ‘you’re even more lovely in real life, so handsome’…!

Grainia Long, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, which has partnered with The Prince’s project, said Homewards ‘has the potential to be transformational. Homelessness is not a “problem to be managed”, and it is not inevitable.

‘We are absolutely delighted to be part of Homewards, which will galvanise partners to prevent homelessness for the people we serve.

‘The discussion this morning with Prince William, members of The Royal Foundation and local partner organisations, confirmed that we share a real and a longstanding commitment to work together to improve the lives of those people who are struggling to find a place to call home.’

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Aberdeen was announced as the fifth location in the Homewards initiative, with Prince William visited Tillydrone Community Campus to learn about the work being done and hear how community support services can improve early intervention and prevent homelessness.

He was joined by Homewards advocate, David Duke, who founded Street Soccer Scotland and Street Soccer London, after playing for Scotland at the Homeless World Cup while sleeping rough.

William was shown around the campus and saw various activities taking place including cooking classes, NHS services and nursery sessions. He also met members of project’s initial local coalition including Aberdeen City Council, independent living charity Aberdeen Foyer, social care provider Turning Point Scotland and the Centre for Homelessness Impact.

The Campus is the only Scottish location to have been chosen to benefit from the Homewards initiative.

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The father-of-three’s final stop of the Homewards tour was Sheffield, where he visited Reach Up Youth.

William’s visit shone a light on how grassroots sports can connect young people with their communities, encouraging local engagement and boosting peer support to prevent homelessness. As with the other stops,  The Prince of Wales met members of the local Homeward coalition.


The Royal was joined by Aston Villa player and Homewards advocate, Tyrone Mings. Tyrone is one of number of famous faces William has brought onboard to help spread the campaign message. William and Tyrone took to the basketball court for a friendly game during his time there.

The Prince also took part in a number of photos as he met the crowds outside the facilities.

The confirmed six locations for the William’s homeless initiative are: Belfast, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Lambeth, Newport and Bournemouth.

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