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HRH The Prince of Wales visited a historic London hostel on 16 February (pictured). However, the royal guest did not turn up only to visit the residents of Arlington's 95 housing units, but also to meet business leaders.
Formerly the troubled Arlington House run by Novas (see The Pavement passim), Arlington hostel was the backdrop to celebrations which marked 10 years of the Ready for Work programme. Prince Charles is the president of Business in the Community (BITC) which runs the back-to-work initiative.
Ready for Work focuses on securing job placements and training for homeless people, with 23 programmes currently running across the UK and Ireland.
Although celebrating past success, this visit was in part a call to arms to businesses to do more in future. In his speech, HRH said, "In the last six months the number of homeless people has begun to rise and I fear this trend will continue... It is estimated that there are some 20,000 people in this country who are either homeless, or who have experienced homelessness, who could be back at work but are not."