The Duke of Cambridge marks 50 years of Centrepoint

The Duke of Cambridge visits Centrepoint's new Apprenticeship House, as her marks 50 years of the homelessness charity.The Duke of Cambridge visits Centrepoint's new Apprenticeship House, as her marks 50 years of the homelessness charity.The Duke of Cambridge visits Centrepoint's new Apprenticeship House, as her marks 50 years of the homelessness charity.

50 Years of Centrepoint

The Duke of Cambridge is marking 50 years of Centrepoint, who provide homeless young people with accommodation, health support and life skills to get them back into education, training and employment, during two engagements on Wednesday 13th November 2019.

Since starting out in the basement of St Anne's Church in 1969, the organisation has grown to become the UK's leading youth homelessness charity, supporting over 9,000 homeless young people a year.

Centrepoint became one of The Duke of Cambridge's first Patronages in 2005 - to mark 50 years of Centrepoint in 2019 The Duke visiting Centrepoint’s new Apprenticeship House, which aims to support young people in their journey to independent living.

Centrepoint was one of the first charities that I officially became associated with. During that time I have seen the charity adapt to the challenges of tackling youth homelessness with continued optimism and enthusiasm.

The Duke of Cambridge, Centrepoint Patron

The Duke of Cambridge visits Centrepoint's new Apprenticeship House, as he marks 50 years of the homelessness charity.

The Duke also attended the Centrepoint 50th Anniversary Gala alongside residents of Apprenticeship House who he met earlier in the day. The gala promoted the achievements of individuals supported by Centrepoint, highlight the issues they face and encourage supporters to help change the story for homeless young people.

Find out more about Centrepoint's extraordinary work here.

Emilyn's Story

Emilyn was a Centrepoint resident for just over a year back in 2007. She became a resident after her mental health deteriorated and she had to drop out of college.

Whilst living with Centrepoint, she received support from her keyworker and the learning team and this enabled her to get back into college and eventually go to university.

Emilyn became homeless in 2006 when her dad kicked her out.

“I moved around between different B&Bs in the area until eventually I was referred to Centrepoint where they were able to support me in a number of different areas: They got me back into college, supported me with my mental health and helped me with my budgeting,” she recalls.

They gave me a place to call home, but they also gave me so much more than that. They provided me with love.

Emilyn, former Centrepoint resident

“Centrepoint gave me so many opportunities. Things like meeting Prince William; the chance to go to Wales; the chance to go sailing and so many other amazing memories that I still have to this day. The best one was being able to advocate for homeless people. I feel that if my experience was able to change the life of at least one other young person then the experiences I have gone through will have been worthwhile. It was part of my healing process – helping other young people.”

“I was contemplating suicide and my daily routine was self-harm. There was no light at the end of the tunnel for me, it was just a brick wall. Centrepoint really did change my life. They helped me become confident; they helped me with my public speaking. They made me realise that I can do what I want to do,” she says.

“After I was a resident at Centrepoint, I went on to university to study psychology.

Centrepoint was the first organisation to offer me a job and that is something I’m so grateful for. The fact that they offered me a paid job meant I was able to support myself through university.

Emilyn, former Centrepoint resident

"They were great in giving me flexible hours so I could work around my studies. I was able to help set up the Centrepoint Parliament and try to make a positive change for the young people within the services. I’m really passionate about helping young people and staying within the charity sector.”

Emilyn vividly remembers marking the 40th anniversary and can’t believe that Centrepoint is now 50.

“People can look at the negative side and think we’re still here 50 years on, we’re clearly not doing our job. However, what I see is that Centrepoint has been evolving and been doing an amazing job supporting thousands of young people. Centrepoint should never be afraid of that,” she says.

Centrepoint put young people at the heart of everything they do. My message for the 50th is: Well done Centrepoint. You’ve done absolutely fantastic work.

Emilyn, former Centrepoint resident

"I’m proud to have been part of the process both as a young person and a staff member.”

Emilyn now works with vulnerable young people for the charity, The Challenge.

Visit the Centrepoint website to read more about Emilyn's story.

 

The New Apprenticeship House

The Duke of Cambridge meets residents at Centrepoint's new Apprenticeship House in London.

At the start of a day marking 50 years of Centrepoint, The Duke visited the charity’s new Apprenticeship House, which aims to support young people in their journey to independent living.

The Duke of Cambridge meets residents at Centrepoint's new Apprenticeship House in London.

As part of a wider ambitious programme developing modular housing solutions in London and Manchester to support young people moving on from supported accommodation and into work, the charity has transformed an existing building in South London into a seven bed shared home for young people on apprenticeship programmes.

The Duke visited the house and chatted to residents, before officially opening the building.

The Duke of Cambridge opens Centrepoint's new Apprenticeship House in London.

 

50th Anniversary Gala

The Duke of Cambridge, alongside residents of Centrepoint's Apprenticeship House, attends the Centrepoint 50th anniversary gala.

Alongside residents of Apprenticeship House who he met earlier in the day, The Duke attended the Centrepoint 50th Anniversary Gala.

It is reassuring to know that when young people are at their lowest point, Centrepoint’s team are there to help.

The Duke of Cambridge, speaking at the Centrepoint 50th anniversary Gala

The Duke of Cambridge speaks at the Centrepoint 50th anniversary Gala.

The Gala promoted the achievements of individuals supported by Centrepoint, highlight the issues they face and encouraged supporters to help change the story for homeless young people.

Read The Duke's speech at the Gala here.

The Duke of Cambridge attends the Centrepoint 50th anniversary gala.