'Hello, this is William at Centrepoint...'
This morning our Patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge joined us to launch the Centrepoint Helpline - the first ever advice service for young people who are either homeless or at risk.
Prince William took part in a short training session with Centrepoint staff and volunteers who will be answering calls from young people across the country.
After the training he had a go on the phones - former Centrepoint resident Samia ran through a practice call with him, taking him through some of the common questions that come up when a young person is looking for help with homelessness.
Prince William said that he was really excited about the launch of the helpline, and called it 'a vital service' that would support so many young people in need.
The helpline - the first national Freephone service for 16 to 25-year-olds facing homelessness - has been made possible by the generosity of Evening Standard readers, and everyone who has donated to our Homeless Helpline appeal.
The appeal, run alongside The Independent and the i newspaper, has raised £3.25 million to fund the service.
During the training session, the Prince went through a practice call with Centrepoint staff member Samia, where she pretended to be a young person at risk of eviction for rent arrears.
He joked to Samia after the call ‘You didn’t hang up on me. That’s a good start’.
The Prince and Mr Lebedev then listened into a 20 minute call taken by Carys Lewis, one of the Centrepoint Helpline advisors, from one of the first callers to the helpline.
Prince William said: “If nothing else, you take the time to listen to them, to tell them their options.” Prince William also asked to be kept informed about the teenager’s journey to hopefully be helped out of homelessness.
Homelessness is a complex issue - young people need specialist support to know their options. The Centrepoint Helpline is here to help.
If you are young and worried about homelessness, or know someone who is, you can contact the Helpline today. https://centrepoint.org.uk/helpline