Prince William champions homelessness initiative ‘Homewards’ in Bournemouth visit

Prince William in Bournemouth talking about Homewards

In an initiative to combat homelessness in the UK, His Royal Highness Prince William has visited the coastal town of Bournemouth as part of a nationwide tour to launch ‘Homewards‘, an ambitious five-year programme delivered by The Royal Foundation​.

The Prince’s visit was centred around Faithworks Carpentry Workshop, a Bournemouth-based charity that operates practical projects to alleviate loneliness, food poverty, and homelessness in urban Dorset. The workshop provides trainees with woodworking skills, while also addressing life issues and fostering a sense of community. During the visit, Prince William interacted with the trainees, learning about the transformative impact of the support they receive and their aspirations for the future.

The Homewards programme is premised on collaboration and aims to make homelessness “rare, brief, and unrepeated.” It will support six flagship locations, including Bournemouth, by giving them the tools, relationships, and space to demonstrate what can be achieved collectively. Each location will work with local partners to devise and implement a tailored plan to prevent homelessness, based on local needs and expertise.

We believe that change is always possible. Ending homelessness is a societal challenge that requires a societal response. We are thrilled to launch Homewards and the Homewards Partnership today, to help us achieve this.

Amanda Berry, The Royal Foundation’s Chief Executive

Homewards is an innovative programme that will extend beyond its six locations, as its results and findings will be used to create a flexible model that can be adopted both nationally and internationally. The initiative is also poised to improve understanding and boost optimism around the issue of homelessness. Recent research by The Royal Foundation reveals that one in five UK residents have experienced homelessness either personally or through someone close to them, highlighting the broad scope and urgent need to address this issue.

The Homewards Partnership comprises a National Expert Panel, Sector Partners, Activators, and Advocates. This coalition of organisations and individuals is committed to ending homelessness and will support the six locations while also fostering national momentum.

By the conclusion of the five-year programme, the ambition is for each location to be on a path to making homelessness rare, brief, and unrepeated. The Royal Foundation hopes this approach will become the norm, not only in the six locations but also across the UK and beyond.

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