The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined forces yet again for another day of engagements on Friday (Mar. 11). Prince William and Kate popped in on urban youth charity XLP in London Wall to see how their XL Mentoring program works.
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The royal couple arrived at the centre on Friday afternoon, and greeted crowds who had gathered outside along with Patrick Regan, XLP chief executive and founder. The Duchess, 34, was stylish as ever in a pink skirt suit from little-known London brand Eponine. She accessorised with a black clutch bag and matching court shoes.
During their visit to the charity, William and Kate listened to personal stories about life growing up among gangs, violence and poverty. Patrick took the opportunity to highlight a rise in the number of stabbings and death due to knife crime, which is up 18 per cent – along with the work XLP are doing to prevent it.
The Duke and Duchess also learned how the charity's mentoring scheme is supporting teenagers who are involved in crime and anti-social behaviour, and helping them to change their lives for the better.
One of the mentees they will meet is Sephton, a young man who has managed to turn his life around with the support of XLP. Sephton has had several stints in prison because of a series of poor life choices, but he says that with the help of his mentor from the charity he has been shown "love, compassion and time", and now faces a better future.
XL-Mentoring is a scheme run through churches and charitable organisations that offers support to young people aged 11-18 by providing them with a mentor. These mentors will meet up with them for two hours a week for 12 months to discuss any issues they may have, as well as helping them to learn new skills, set goals for the future and work hard to achieve them.
The scheme was set up by charity XLP, which was established in 1996 by Patrick Regan after a stabbing in a playground. The organisation now operates in over 60 schools and deals with a wide variety of issues including drugs awareness, anger management, poverty and racism.
It is not the first time William and Kate have seen the charity's work first-hand; in March 2015 the royal couple visited one of XLP's community outreach projects in Sydenham, London, which they described as "incredible and revolutionary".