Video: Burnley welcomes Prince William and Kate Middleton as Royal couple pledge support for the town

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given a warm welcome to Burnley this afternoon when they arrived for a visit to Church on the Street, the community hub that was set up for the homeless and vulnerable in 2019.

By Susan Plunkett
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 11:51 pm

Greeted by the founder, Pastor Mick Fleming and the Mayor of Burnley Coun. Mark Townsend and Burnley Council chief executive Mick Cartledge Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton were given a guided tour of the hub and they also met with volunteers and service users.

The low key visit was to highlight and champion mental wellbeing and support given during the pandemic and followed on from a visit to Clitheroe Community Hospital.

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

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Church on the Street in Burnley today

The opening of the hub, that made national headlines across the UK, became possible after a BBC documentary about the charity saw donations totalling £250,000 flood in from across the UK.

Speaking after the visit an emotional Pastor Fleming said that Prince William and Kate has 'become part' of what Church on the Street is all about.

He said: "They knew all about what we do here and they have pledged to do what they can to help using their contacts.

"I am quite overwhelmed. They were so amenable and it was wonderful to meet them."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Church on the Street in Burnley today

Among those their Royal Highnesses spoke to was 11-year-old Deacon Glover and his great grandma, Carole Ellis. Deacon has received support from Church on the Street since the death of his mum who was Carole's granddaughter.

Wearing his Nick Pope goalie strip Deacon chatted with Prince William about the fortunes of Burnley FC and also the sale of player Chris Wood.

Deacon said: "I couldn't believe that Prince William and Kate would come to a little town like Burnley.

"They were really nice and we chatted about football and school."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Church on the Street in Burnley today

Carole told Prince William he would make a 'great king' and she told Kate that Princess Diana would have loved her.

Carole said: "I felt so at ease with them that I was able to speak my mind. They were so natural and genuine and the atmosphere here today was electric.

"They know the problems we face here in Burnley and they told us they would try to help the town solve them with more help and resources.

"This has been such a wonderful day for Burnley. The atmosphere in here today was electric."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Church on the Street in Burnley today

The tour of the facilities at the former gym in Hammerton Street included a visit to the cafe and foodbank and they also spoke to counsellor David Allen who explained to their Royal Highnesses about his work.

He said: "I told them about how I help people with a variety of different problems, from relationship issues to people suffering from anxiety and depression.

Their Royal Highnesses chatted at length with Anthony Horrocks (46) who has been supported by CoTs as he has battled mental health and addiction issues.

There with his parents, Alan and Angela Horrocks, the family were moved to tears when Prince William told Anthony he was the reason for their visit today.

Angela said: "We couldn't believe it when they said to us. They were genuinely interested to know what Anthony has been through and how Church on the Street has helped."

As they left the hub the couple received a rapturous round of applause and calls of 'thank you' and Gerard Franklin told them 'You are loved.'

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Church on the Street in Burnley today

Afterwards he said: "They are loved and I think they sometimes need to hear that.

"They are wonderful ambassadors for the Royal family."