By Jennifer Scott
Political reporter, BBC News
By Kevin Peachey
Personal finance correspondent
By Sion Pennar
- Copyright: BBC
The Duke of Cambridge has been volunteering with a homelessness charity helping to pack food bags for rough sleepers.
William joined workers from The Passage on three separate occasions before Christmas and chatted to some of the homeless people being supported. He became royal patron of the London charity in 2019 after first visiting as a young boy with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
Diana took him and younger brother the Duke of Sussex to the charity in December 1993, and William has since made numerous public and private visits.
During his volunteering stint before Christmas, the duke worked alongside a team of volunteers preparing hot meals for people who had recently been moved off the streets and into emergency hotel accommodation.
In July he said the UK would "never have a better chance" to "crack" the problem of homelessness thanks to the opportunity provided by Covid-19.
William's comments were made during a visit to a drop-in day centre for Peterborough's homeless community, and he called on society to be a "bit brave and a bit bold" and seize the chance to rehouse people permanently.
The Passage chief executive Mick Clarke said: "This year, more than ever, our army of volunteers have enabled The Passage to keep our vital services running throughout both lockdowns and the time in between.
"From our emergency food hub to fundraising, outreach to essential office support, our Home for Good programme to our residential projects, we are extremely fortunate to have such a versatile and committed group of supporters."
London's emergency shelters are to be opened for homeless people for the next few days, the mayor of London has announced.
Temperatures are forecast to fall below 0C overnight and so the London's Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP) have been activated to provide shelter for those who are living rough.
It is the second time emergency shelters have been made available this winter. They are to remain open until 26 December.
Sadiq Khan also revealed that Londoner's have donated £13,500 to the mayor’s Winter Rough Sleeping campaign since it was launched on 16 December.
The mayor said: “Homelessness is an emergency whatever the weather – but the pandemic has compounded the risks faced by the most vulnerable Londoners.
"Local authorities, charities and others supporting homeless people have been working tirelessly throughout this crisis and will continue to do so as temperatures fall."
About 250 hot meals are set to be handed out from Birmingham's New Street station on Christmas Eve.Copyright: Network RailCopyright: Network Rail
Network Rail and the Midland Langar Seva Society charity usually provide a three-course sit-down meal for the city's homeless, but have had to make alternative Covid-safe arrangements.
The food and gifts will be given out on the Eastern plaza between 17:00 and 19:00 on Thursday 24 December.
A queuing system will be set up to ensure people keep at a safe distance from one another to help stop the spread of coronavirus, said the rail company.
Eight-year-old Elle who helps rough sleepers has inspired people to donate hundreds of bags of clothing.