Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are at Church on the Street in Burnley town centre to meet with Pastor Mick Fleming, who runs the hub, and also volunteers, staff and service users. The visit is to highlight and champion mental wellbeing and support given during the pandemic.
Church on the Street was set up in 2019 in a bid to help the growing number of homeless people and vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Burnley
The opening of the hub became possible after a BBC documentary about the charity saw donations totalling £250,000 flood in from across the UK.
Offering a refuge and a safe space for anyone in the community that may be struggling, including those having difficulty with their mental health, the hub occupies a former gym and provides a food bank, a clothing bank, hot showers, laundry facilities, a café, recovery groups, addiction and mental health support, access to a qualified counsellor, and a safe space for up to two hundred people at any one time.
Several thousand people have passed through the church’s doors in search of support since it was first established. Mick is now in discussions with local authorities, external support agencies and the NHS with the aim of providing further support for people who are struggling with their mental health.
As part of he low key visit the Duke and Duchess also visited Clitheroe Community Hospital to learn about the unique challenges faced by rural health providers and to understand how NHS Charities Together is supporting the mental health of the frontline workforce.
The visit included the arrival of the latest addition to the team at the hospital, an apricot cockapoo puppy who will be trained as a therapy dog.