Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit London's riot communities

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met families whose homes were burnt down, and those from the emergency services who were on the frontline of the London riots on 17th August. They broke off from their holiday in Scotland to show solidarity with urban communities scarred by the violence, arson and looting.

Speaking of the unease still gripping many neighbourhoods, Prince Charles said it was time to deal with the "real causes" rather than the "symptoms" of England's worst civil unrest in decades

On a visit to Tottenham Green Leisure Centre in Tottenham, North London, where an emergency relief effort is under way, Their Royal Highnesses also chatted to volunteers who have been helping those affected get their lives back on track.

During the visit, Their Royal Highnesses met children at the Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, where the Salvation Army is also helping to sort through items donated to the centre.

In Hackney Prince Charles met youth ambassadors and volunteers at a centre for The Prince's Trust, the charity he founded in 1976 to help turn around the lives of disadvantaged youngsters. Volunteers from Youth United, an organisation established by The Prince to bring together a number of youth groups including The Scouts Association, Boys Brigade and The Prince’s Trust among others, took to the streets today to help clean up the mess caused as a result of the riots.

"Young people join gangs because it is a cry for help," the heir to the throne said. "There are not enough extra-curricular activities and young people are lacking opportunity. A lot of people are dealing with the symptoms and not looking at the real causes. You can now go out there and motivate others and set an example for young people and show them there is another way. You are the army we have to mobilise."

The Prince has been committed to helping young people for many years, and in 1976 established The Prince's Trust to help change young lives. The Prince's Trust announced it will be providing a £2.5 million investment to communities that have been hardest hit by the riots including Manchester, Birmingham and the London communities of Hackney, Tottenham and Croydon.

In Lambeth, The Prince and The Duchess met those from support services who had been at the frontline of the riots, including police, ambulance and fire services from other boroughs.

Early warnings fom The Prince's Trust
Earlier this year, The Prince’s Trust has warned the UK is developing a "youth underclass". A survey for the Prince's Trust of more than 2,300 people aged 16-24 published on 18th May suggested those from deprived backgrounds were three times more likely to say they will "end up on benefits".

The Prince's Trust blamed an "aspiration gap" between rich and poor. The research revealed what the trust described as the tragedy of young people from poor homes who feel they have no future.

A quarter of those from deprived backgrounds believed they would achieve few or none of their life goals, with a similar proportion expecting to end up on benefits for at least part of their life.

Some 23% from this group thought they were destined for a dead-end job compared to 6% of those from affluent families.


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