Wool and wayward youths: Charles visits Leeds

Prince Charles spent the day in Leeds on Thursday, visiting a prison and wool mill in the city.

At Leeds prison, The Prince of Wales met inmates and staff involved in the Through-the-Door project, part of his Mosaic initiative, which provides mentoring to help young people growing up in deprived communities.

The project is aimed at Muslim prisoners who make up nearly one in six inmates at the facility, giving them support and encouragement in the final six months of their sentence, to prepare them for life on the outside of prison.

The Prince was accompanied by three bodyguards at the Class B facility, which houses offenders of lesser crimes than murder or armed robbery.

“Our mentees really appreciate the fact that we are volunteers,” said Sadia Ahmed, a mentor for the scheme.

“We choose to give our time to help them successfully transition back into their communities, rather than members of staff who are paid to help, that is the biggest difference with our intervention.

Mohammed Hussain, an inmate being helped by the scheme, said: “I’ve been in and out of prison quite a few times now.

“With the Mosaic programme, I feel for the first time now that I have direction about what I want to do after I leave prison, and I’m thankful to my Mosaic mentor for guiding me on this journey.”

Charles then moved on to the Abraham Moon plant in Guiseley, the last fully vertical woollen mill in England. The Prince was given a tour of the site, which was first used as a mill in 1837.

The mill employs over 200 people and makes luxury woollen items for Marks & Spencer, Laura Ashley and Paul Smith, amongst others.

A passionate supporter of natural and environmentally friendly materials and processes, Charles launched the Campaign for Wool in 2010.

Andy Gott

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