Prince Harry has said work done by a cafe supporting homeless people “needs to be across the UK as soon as possible”.
Harry and Meghan Markle were at Social Bite in Edinburgh on Tuesday to meet those who use and work with the organisation, with the 33-year-old rubbing his hands together after walking in from the “freezing” conditions outside.
But the weather did not put off a cheering crowd wanting to welcome them, who were waving love hearts and flags – with some of them having queued for more than four hours to catch a glimpse.
Co-founder Josh Littlejohn told the couple how they aim to get people off the streets by giving them employment and helping them find their own accommodation.
Harry said: “When are you bringing this down south?
“When you’ve proved it really works, it needs to be across the UK as soon as possible.”
Speaking to the Press Association afterwards, Mr Littlejohn said they were willing to share what they have learned with other organisations to tackle the issue elsewhere.
But he said Social Bite’s focus was on eradicating homelessness in Scotland first.
He said: “If we can make real inroads, there’s no reason we can’t pass that on down south.”
Harry and Ms Markle spoke with the organisation’s volunteers, customers and also staff who have been affected by homelessness.
When speaking to volunteers Liz Cann and Alice Smith as well as customer George Whyte, Harry went on to talk about his love of food’s ability to bring people together.
He said: “Meals are supposed to be an opportunity to bring people together, time to share, time to give and time to have a conversation.”
The soon-to-be husband and wife also met with other staff at the Edinburgh cafe, with Ms Markle saying she would like to work there as it seemed fun.
The couple talked with workers who have been affected by homelessness (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Sonny Murray, 38, was homeless for two years and rough sleeping for four months.
He said working for Social Bite had helped him to turn his life around and told the couple he urged homeless people to get involved with the organisation.
Mr Murray described the pair as a “really lovely couple” who “sat and spoke away to us” about their backgrounds.
The firm also plans to open a “village” for homeless people later this year, which would give people without accommodation a home so they can try to find some security.