Prince of Wales visits TK Maxx store for the first time – to meet Prince’s Trust alumni

The Prince of Wales today visited a TK Maxx store in Tooting, London, to meet with Prince’s Trust alumni who are now employed at the store. This evening, he also attended a British Asian Trust reception at Banqueting House.

Upon his arrival, The Prince of Wales was greeted by Dame Martina Milburn, the Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust Group, and Louise Greenlees, the President of TJX Europe. On the shop floor, the Prince went on to tour the store and meet employees and their mentors who have participated in TK Maxx’s Get into Retail programme in partnership with The Prince’s Trust.

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Since its creation by Prince Charles in 1976, the Prince’s Trust charity has helped over 950,000 disadvantaged young people, empowering them to develop the skills and confidence they need to find a job.

The retail programme, meanwhile, has helped over 1,000 young people, offering specialist training and roles to over 700 of these young people, many of whom remain employees in TK Maxx stores.

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Prince Charles then moved upstairs, to join a discussion with young people supported by The Prince’s Trust to hear about what it’s like to be a young Londoner today and the challenges they have overcome to gain stable employment. Rachel Crawford, 29, said that Prince Charles asked her how she dealt with unfriendly customers to which she replied: “I kill them with kindness, I give them a smile.”

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Adding: “He [the Prince] walked in and said it was amazing, he didn’t expect it to be so bright and so luxurious, the way everything is displayed. He said it was very fresh and he liked how the layout of the store looked. He was happy with the layout of the store.”

“The Prince has very soft hands, I wanted to ask what moisturiser he wore,” she commented.

Rachel did a Prince’s Trust course four years ago and has worked at the store ever since.

On his way out, The Prince of Wales joked about disturbing the store’s regular business day saying: “I’m really worried we’ve stopped all the customers coming in.”

As Charles left, crowds swarmed trying to catch a glimpse of the Royal – the future King took it in his stride and shook hands, saying to those around him how nice it was to see them.

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