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In pictures: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are shown modular home for homeless during visit to Jimmy’s Cambridge



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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continued their visit to the city at Jimmy’s Cambridge, which works with the homeless.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge. They are shown with Eamonn Kelly Picture: Warren Gunn (57523064)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge. They are shown with Eamonn Kelly Picture: Warren Gunn (57523064)

The charity said it was “honoured” to welcome the royal couple, who had earlier visited East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices in Milton and witnessed the unveiling of their first official joint portrait at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

At Jimmy’s they talked to the CEO Mark Allan and met with those who Jimmy’s is helping to find accommodation, including resident Eamonn Kelly, 52, who has sold the Big Issue in Cambridge for 13 years.

They chatted inside one of the 22 modular homes that have been created in Cambridge to help tackle the homelessness crisis, and learned how it had made a difference to his life, helping him to live independently.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523001)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523001)

Mr Kelly, originally from Belfast, told William: “I heard you’re a Big Issue seller?”

The duke replied: “Well, I gave it a go.”

Shaking William’s hand, Mr Kelly told him: “Well I work for the Big Issue, I sell in Cambridge.”

He then invited William and Kate into his modular home where they spoke at length.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge with left, Mark Allan, chief executive of Jimmy's and Eamonn Kelly Picture: Warren Gunn (57522982)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge with left, Mark Allan, chief executive of Jimmy's and Eamonn Kelly Picture: Warren Gunn (57522982)

Afterwards, they spoke with those involved in the project about how to tackle homelessness, and as they returned to their waiting Range Rover William spotted Mr Kelly again.

“There he is,” called out William.

“Eamonn, come here, I’ll have a photo with you.

“Who’s got your camera?”

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523010)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523010)

Mr Kelly posed for a photo, standing between William and Kate, thanking them for it.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pose for a photograph with Eamonn Kelly. Picture: Frank Augstein/PA (57526200)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pose for a photograph with Eamonn Kelly. Picture: Frank Augstein/PA (57526200)

Speaking afterwards, Mr Kelly said: “They’re down to earth people, they’re very genuine, they’re interested in you as a person, not your past or your future.

“You can’t get any better than them two people.”

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523014)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523014)

Service user Pete Dean, 59, met William and Kate in 2012 and spoke with them again on Thursday’s visit.

The duke told Mr Dean: “I can’t believe it’s been 10 years Pete.

“I sat in your room, I sat on your bed talking about what you’d been doing in your life.”

After speaking with the Cambridges in private, Mr Dean, who now has his own flat, said: “They proper remembered, it was nice.

“He said he’d come and see me in another 10 years.

“I had a right long chat with them.

“They’re really nice people.”

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523026)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523026)

The Duke and Duchess met partners and supporters involved in Jimmy’s, learning about the range of services it offers.

Their Royal Highnesses last visited Jimmy’s in 2012 and the topic of homelessness continues to be a particular area of interest for the Duke of Cambridge.

[Read more: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge see their first official joint portrait unveiled at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge]

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523031)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523031)

Mark Allan, chief executive of Jimmy’s, said the Cambridges’ visit “means a lot” and William and Kate were “genuinely interested in tackling homelessness”.

Everyone living in one of the modular homes at Jimmy’s is provided with a significant support system through the charity’s expert team, helping them to tackle issues around mental health, employment, addiction or reconnecting with families.

The charity said all of this is vital to ensuring that, once someone is in a home, they can remain in it.

[Read more: 21 pictures as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Fitzwilliam Museum to see their first joint portrait]

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523042)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523042)

Jimmy’s opened in 1995 as Cambridge’s first all-year round night shelter. It has grown to offer a much wider range of services, including personalised support, help with alcohol and substance abuse, and mental health support.

In addition to its 24/7 Emergency Accommodation and Assessment Centre in East Road, it manages 10 three and four-bed houses across Cambridge.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523046)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523046)

And in 2020, Jimmy’s played a key role in helping Cambridge become the first city in the UK to explore modular homes as a solution to the homelessness crisis.

Working in partnership with Cambridge City Council and partners including Allia and Hill Group, 22 modular homes have been developed, providing movable, small-scale accommodation, with a front door for each occupant.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523044)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523044)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523050)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523050)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523054)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523054)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523058)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523058)

[Read more: Gallery: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet children, families, staff and volunteers at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices in Milton]

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge. They are shown with Eamonn Kelly Picture: Warren Gunn (57523060)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge. They are shown with Eamonn Kelly Picture: Warren Gunn (57523060)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523070)
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Jimmy's in Cambridge Picture: Warren Gunn (57523070)

The visit of Prince William and Kate came on Cambridgeshire County Day, a celebration of the county in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, and the royal couple went on to visit Newmarket Racecourse, where about 6,000 people were gathered and businesses and organisations showcased their work.



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