A speech by The Duke of Cambridge the Centrepoint 50th Anniversary Gala

Published 13 November 2019

It might seem an odd thing to say at a milestone event such as this, but I hope that Centrepoint will not need to be around in another 50 years.

The Duke of Cambridge

Thank you Seyi, thank you James, and good evening to everyone.

I am very pleased to be joining you this evening to mark Centrepoint’s 50th Anniversary.

This is an occasion to celebrate the achievements of this fantastic organisation and the young people it has supported over the past five decades.

Centrepoint was one of the first charities of which I became Patron, back in 2005.

I chose to do that because visiting Centrepoint’s services with my mother made such a lasting impression on me as a child.

And it still makes a lasting impression on me today. 

This morning I visited Centrepoint’s first Apprenticeship House.

The young people I met – some of whom are here tonight – are having their lives transformed.

They will soon be living together in a cosy, shared home, supporting each other as they start new training courses as apprentices.

This will help them on the way to a career in their chosen profession.

And – after a tough start in life – it will help them to achieve their full potential.

Apprenticeship House, like all of Centrepoint’s services, shows that the only sustainable way to end youth homelessness is to bring together the elements crucial to the future success of a young person: Housing, employment and a safe environment to sustain positive mental health.

It is this rounded support and care that has helped Centrepoint change the lives of so many young people over the past half century.

It might seem an odd thing to say at a milestone event such as this, but I hope that Centrepoint will not need to be around in another 50 years.

It is upsetting that in 2019 we still have not managed to end youth homelessness, and more young people are being supported by Centrepoint than ever before.

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

The brilliant staff and volunteers continue to do a wonderful job, ensuring that every young person gets the individual care and support that they need, whatever their situation.

Just now, I met some impressive young people who embody why we are all here tonight.

For a range of reasons, they have faced challenges in their most formative years that no young person should have to endure.

But their energy, perseverance, resilience – and most importantly their ambition – is electrifying and infectious.

It’s for that reason – to give these young people a different future – that Centrepoint’s work remains so utterly crucial.

Thank you for your continued support.