Lady Kitty Spencer has taken on a new cause close to her cousin Prince William's heart. The 25-year-old niece of Diana, Princess of Wales is the newest ambassador for Centrepoint, the homelessness charity for which William is a patron.
Kitty posted a picture on Instagram, writing that her visit to the charity to raise awareness for Sport Relief was "a special day".
The focus of her visit to Centrepoint last week was to see how sport can help young people learn new skills, develop confidence and take the first step towards a brighter future – and away from a life on the streets.
"Just from the girls I have spoken to today, one of them wants to go on to be a midwife and one wants to set up a dance school," said Kitty. "I said to them both that I am so amazed that after everything they have been through their goal is to do something to give back to society."
The eldest daughter of Earl Spencer and his first wife Victoria met young people attending the sports workshop, including 19-year-old Laura, who lives in a hostel. "It was incredible to find Centrepoint and have my own space," said Laura. "My physical health improved and it's given me a voice."
Centrepoint's Sport for Change programme uses sport sessions to get young people involved and motivated and then combines the fitness with life skills training.
Kitty's cousin Prince William became patron of Centrepoint over a decade ago in September 2005. The charity has always been close to William's heart; his late mother Diana was formerly patron, and as children the Princess used to take William and Harry on private visits to Centrepoint.
"I was very struck by the people I met and what they were struggling with – sleeping rough, sofa surfing, not having basic comforts a lot of us take for granted," William told journalism student Sophia Kichou, who was formerly homeless and was doing an interview for The Big Issue.
He added: "That really struck me at a young age, bearing in mind the gulf for me growing up in a palace and seeing the other end of the spectrum. That was powerful to see at a young age. In today's Western world, with all the advancements and privileges we have, the fact some people don't have a bed or a roof over their head is quite ridiculous."
Keeping his mum's work alive, William, 33, has played an active role in the charity. In December 2009, the royal spent a night sleeping out on the streets of London in temperatures as low as minus 4C, to deepen his understanding of the challenges homeless young people face.