Search

Duke of Kent inspired after visiting homeless lifeline in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 17:22 21 February 2017

The Duke of Kent on a visit to the Welcome Centre in Ilford with manager Sonia Lynch and managing director Phil Herbert

The Duke of Kent on a visit to the Welcome Centre in Ilford with manager Sonia Lynch and managing director Phil Herbert

Archant

A charity supporting homeless people across the borough received a royal visit in recognition of its work.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent dropped into the Welcome Centre, Ilford, this morning.

Prince Edward praised the hardworking staff, volunteers and clients at the “excellent” day centre.

The Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Gurdial Bhamra said he was delighted to show off the vital lifeline for rough sleepers.

He said: “It’s an honour to bring a royal guest here.

“The Welcome Centre is one of my charities so I’m very pleased to highlight the hard work that goes on.”

The Duke was also joined by Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal, chief executive Andy Donald and Thomas Chan, the deputy lieutenant of Redbridge.

He was treated to a tour of the facilities, in St Mary’s Road, by manager Sonia Lynch and managing director Phil Herbert, where he met many of the volunteers, including Carlene Grant.

Ms Grant, who lives in Ilford, is the charity’s longest serving volunteer.

She said: “I started volunteering when I retired from work 14 years ago, and I never left.

“Its hard work sometimes but you just have to give thanks.

“It’s very rewarding.”

The charity has been working closely with vulnerable people in Redbridge since 2000.

Many people have successfully turned their life around as a result of the day centre’s hard work, including Karan Cameron, 48.

She first came to the charity in 2008 and has made “amazing” progress, said support worker Jennifer Fletcher-Simms.

She said: “You wouldn’t recognise Karan now.

“She’s come such a long way and I’m so proud for her.

“We wanted her to meet the Duke today as she has worked so hard to transform her life.

“She’s absolutely brilliant.”

Mr Herbert, the charity’s managing director, said he was honoured to meet the Duke.

He said: “I have been looking forward to meeting him since we learnt that he was coming about two weeks ago.

“We are delighted to highlight the hard work that goes on here.”

The Duke also visited Redbridge College where he dined with students and staff at the award-winning Rouge restaurant.

He rounded off the trip with a tour of transport company Bombardier which won the contract to supply the trains for Crossrail.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford News Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

Watch our Facebook Live hustings as the candidates for Ilford South answer your questions.

Yesterday, 15:59

A Redbridge secondary school teacher has said children studying today “will be like a lost generation”, at a campaign event against school cuts.

Yesterday, 14:00

A critically-acclaimed tutoring service is preparing to launch a centre in Redbridge.

Yesterday, 12:00

Jurors in the trial of the Loxford Park shooting are set to begin their considerations imminently.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now