UK

Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge, And Prince William Visit XLP Charity Helping Teens Reject Knife Crime

11/03/2016 16:46 GMT | Updated 11/03/2016 16:59 GMT

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Friday heard first-hand accounts of young Londoners' battle to reject knife crime.

Kate Middleton and Prince William met with the founder of charity XLP, Patrick Regan, and the children who had benefited from his programme, and heard about their experiences with gang violence, crime and family issues at the Hallows on the Wall in London.

XLP currently works with 1,500 schoolchildren, from more than 70 schools, who live on some of London's toughest estates and are facing emotional, behavioural and relational challenges. The children, aged 11 to 18, are referred to the project by their schools, youth services and police and many face exclusion from school, or are at risk of becoming involved in gangs or anti-social behaviour.

duchess of cambridge

Kate Middleton and Prince William during their visit to charity XLP

The charity has around 200 volunteers, including mentors who provide a lifeline for those in most need of support. Mentors are selected from the local community and must commit to providing two hours face-to-face time each week for at least a year.

The royal couple, who visited another XLP project in Gipsy Hill last year, also met with XLP mentors and service users from three boroughs and watched the below film about the charity's battle to change young lives.

More than 90 percent of beneficiaries of the XLP programme have either remained in school or returned to school and are doing well after 12 months with a mentor.

The visit caps off a busy week for Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who on Thursday visited St Thomas' Hospital where they met Jonny Benjamin, who famously tracked down the man who saved him from throwing himself off Waterloo Bridge through the social media #FindMike search.

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Kate Middleton visits charity XLP