Prince William reportedly makes up to half a dozen secret visits to Centrepoint-run accommodation services each year – and the charity’s CEO says he even once helped a young person by phoning social services to see if he was eligible have financial help
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Prince William once called social services to help a young homeless man get back on his feet while doing clandestine volunteering, a charity CEO has revealed.
The future king, who turns 40 tomorrow, has long been involved with charities for the homeless – and has taken a keen interest in the issue ever since he visited a homeless shelter with his late mother Princess Diana when he was 11.
One of the homeless organizations that William has been heavily involved with is Centrepoint – a charity that helps homeless young people.
He has been a patron of the charity since 2005 and according to the Daily Mailhe makes up to half a dozen clandestine visits to Centrepoint’s lodging services each year.
And the charity’s CEO, Seyi Obakin, told the publication that William once worked a full week at the charity – he even called social services to help a young person.
He is said to have introduced himself on the phone as William and asked what financial help the youth in question was entitled to.
It is believed that he chatted with the operator on the other end of the phone about forms and proof of identity, unaware that they were speaking to a future king.
Mr Obakin told the publication: “Once he spent a week with us, showed up and was introduced as a deputy. He even called social services on behalf of a young person. That was an apprenticeship for him!
“When someone said to him that he looked like someone famous, William just smiled and said, ‘I’ve heard people say that, but I don’t believe it!’ And then he went on working, was so reserved, just came by and did his thing that only the manager knew who he was.
“It’s a measure of who he is that at the time of his marriage he had developed such a good relationship with this particular manager that he invited her to his wedding.”
The news of Williams’ earlier kind gesture comes ahead of his birthday tomorrow, where he has written an article and given an interview for the Big Issue, sold by those affected by homelessness, and vowed to continue to shine a light on the issue.
In the latest issue of the magazineWilliam, who has long been involved in supporting charities that help the homeless, explains why he refuses to “believe that homelessness is an irrevocable fact of life”.
And he adds that just like his mother, he intends to use his children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – for charity in the future.
He explains: “While I may seem like one of the most unlikely proponents of this cause, I have always believed in using my platform to tell these stories and bring attention and action to those who are struggling.
“I feel very fortunate to have a role that allows me to meet people from all walks of life and understand their full story – whatever it may be. It’s a privilege that many of us busy with our everyday lives can’t always afford.
“In the years to come, I hope George, Charlotte and Louis get to see the amazing organizations doing the inspiring work to support those most in need – just as my mother did for me.”
Earlier this month, William tried to stay under the radar by selling The Big Issue on the streets of London with colleague Dave Martin.
Wearing a red salesman’s vest and baseball cap, with official accreditation pinned to his chest, the Duke joined Mr Martin, who had volunteered to show William the ropes, outside a Sainsbury’s local in Victoria, a 10-minute walk from Buckingham away.
News of the famous Big Issue seller soon spread by word of mouth, and a line formed of people eager to meet the future king. But they had to buy the magazine, and 32 copies that normally took the Guidebook a week to sell sold out in less than an hour.
He describes his time with salesman Mr Martin as “eye-opening” and says he was recognized by those who stopped to buy the magazine, allowing the homeless to earn an income by selling the publication.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-william-called-benefits-office-27280254 Prince William called social services during a secret charity work for the homeless, CEO reveals