Derby City Mission had the honour of hosting His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester on a very special visit to Derby. Welcoming him to the charities headquarters was CEO, Rev Julio Abraham, HM Lord-Lieutenant Liz Fothergill and Mr. Fothergill.

His Royal Highness was given a tour of the Derby City Mission headquarters meeting volunteers, supporters, staff and beneficiaries as he visited each area.

Spending some time in our Safe Space, he was able to understand the efforts of the team who, during the pandemic, maintained the emergency accommodation offer for the entrenched rough sleepers of Derby by accommodating them in a ‘Homeless Hotel’ and creating a Covid free sleeping arrangement in purpose-built pods.

The charities latest project, the Community Shop & Café was of particular interest to His Royal Highness. He was shown the variety of food on offer in the community shop, explained how it worked and the aim of re-instating dignity to those experiencing food insecurities by offering choice to meet their needs more effectively.

The charity invited groups of volunteers to meet His Royal Highness, including those that prepared and delivered the vital food parcels during the pandemic, the team from the Befriending project, who, throughout the pandemic were a life line to those experiencing isolation, the food warehouse volunteers, who manage the stock and preparation of the food bank and our debt and benefit advice team who support those who need support managing their finances.

He also learnt from the team that led the collaborative efforts at Mount Cook Adventure Centre during the winter in 2020, to house over 90 homeless individuals.

A special invitation was extended to clients of Derby City Mission who were able to explain how the charity has supported them through financial, food and mental health struggles, as well as two significant supporters to the mission.

 “It was an honour to host His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester at our busy headquarters today. His acknowledgement of our work in transforming lives has been a real boost to our staff and volunteers. We really hope he has left with a great understanding of the passion we have for the individuals we work with and the work we do to see them transformed.” – CEO, Rev Julio Abraham.

Derby City Mission was one of a few locations during His Royal Highness’ visit to Derbyshire.