Cardinal Vincent Nichols has welcomed the announcement that the Duke of Cambridge has become Royal Patron of the Catholic homeless charity, the Passage.
"I know The Duke is deeply committed to working with those most in need, such as the thousands of people The Passage has helped off the streets. It is crucial that everyone in our society, especially the poorest, are treated with respect, dignity and kindness, and are given the opportunities to fulfil their potential in life; this announcement is a tangible symbol of that commitment,” the Cardinal, who is also a patron of the charity, said.
After being announced as patron on 13 February, the Duke helped prepare and serve spaghetti bolognese to some of the Passage's homeless clients at the St Vincent’s Centre in Westminster.
He also met clients to discuss some of the challenges relating to rough sleeping, including some who are participating in The Passage’s homelessness prevention scheme "Home for Good", which supports homeless people sustain their accommodation once off the streets.
The Prince first visited the centre with his mother Princess Diana in 1993 and has since made numerous public and private trips to the organisation.
Mick Clarke, Chief Executive of The Passage said: “During His Royal Highness’ visits to The Passage, it has been very clear that he has a deep concern for those affected by homelessness and a real interest in our work. For His Royal Highness to further express his support for The Passage’s work by becoming our Royal Patron is a tremendous honour, and a testament to how much he genuinely cares about this issue.”
The Passage, which is founded on the values of Christian and social reformer St Vincent de Paul, has helped more than 130,000 people in crisis over almost 40 years, it currently serves 150 lunches every day to those in need.