AFC Bournemouth were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness Prince William to Vitality Stadium as part of The Royal Foundation’s Homewards project.
The Homewards project is a five-year locally-led programme, created by The Prince and The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales, which takes a transformative approach to the issue of homelessness.
With collaboration at the centre of its mission, Homewards gives its six flagship locations, including Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, new space, tools, and relationships to showcase what can be achieved through a collective effort focused on preventing homelessness in their areas.
HRH was joined by Steven Bartlett, entrepreneur, investor and Homewards advocate, and greeted at the Vitality Stadium by AFC Bournemouth CEO Neill Blake
Making their way to pitchside, HRH was introduced to players Lloyd Kelly and Katie Scadding, along with head of community Steve Cuss, who was able to discuss the local needs with the Prince and highlight some of the key community engagement projects delivered by AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, including the Bounce Back project, a project based at Vitality Stadium supporting vulnerable adults to achieve independence through both classroom and physical activity sessions.
Following the pitchside introductions, HRH hosted a roundtable discussion with local businesses including Sunseeker, Lush, BCP Council and the Bournemouth Town Centre BID to further discuss ways in which the business sector could support homelessness, and the declaration of support to the Homewards project for the next five years.
Speaking to afcb.co.uk, CEO Neill Blake, said: “The Bounce Back initiative and the benefits it has for many local individuals, including building self-esteem and improving quality of life, is of huge importance to us at AFC Bournemouth. We're proud to play our part and continue our involvement in such a great project.
“Aligning this with the Homewards programme is a further positive for our community, and with more resource being channelled towards the same goal, I'm sure we'll see even more of an impact being made in this area.
“We’re delighted to have had the honour of hosting His Royal Highness and guests at Vitality Stadium, and to discuss how these exciting projects can make a real difference.”