London

Duke of Cambridge joins DIY SOS Grenfell crew

Duke of Cambridge and Nick Knowles Image copyright ADRIAN DENNIS/PA
Image caption The Duke of Cambridge showed some artistic flair as he helped the DIY SOS team paint the walls of a new community hub near the site of Grenfell Tower

Prince William has praised the spirit of the Grenfell Tower community as he joined the DIY SOS team to rebuild a boxing gym destroyed in the fire.

He has been helping to create a new home for the Dale Youth Boxing Academy and a community hub near the site of the blaze in which 71 people died.

The Duke of Cambridge met volunteers builders working on the project who had been affected by last year's tragedy.

He said the community spirit he had seen made him "very proud".

"Grenfell and Manchester have been competing as to who has the most community spirit, because the terror attack in Manchester, I've never known anything like it, they were amazing, they came together," he said.

"I saw the same thing with Grenfell.

"It makes you very proud that through something so tragic and traumatic people come together like they do, and try and help each other out."

Image copyright ADRIAN DENNIS/PA
Image caption Prince William met with residents affected by fire ahead of the first anniversary of the tragedy

The gym has turned out stars including WBA super middleweight champion George Groves and Olympic gold medallist James DeGale.

The academy, which was housed at the foot of Grenfell Tower in west London, currently trains at a makeshift facility in a nearby car park.

The show's presenter Nick Knowles said the project was one of DIY SOS's "morally most important" to date.

The programme plans to have parts of the project "built inside a year".

Image copyright ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images
Image caption The DIY SOS team are building on a long-disused site managed by the Westway Trust
Image copyright WPA Pool
Image caption The Duke of Cambridge met local volunteers working on the project who had been affected by fire including Jason Garcia Urbano (R),

Volunteer Jason Garcia Urbano, whose 12-year-old cousin Jessica Urbano Ramirez was killed in the fire, said: "I think it's great, in two terrible circumstances people are coming together to help one another.

"For me, one year on, people are still thinking about how they can support this community that has been severely damaged by what's happened.

"I'm all for it, that's why I wanted to get involved as soon as I found out."

Planning permission for the development was granted on 8 March, conditional on a "full consultation with the community".

This is the second time the prince has appeared on the BBC's flagship construction show, having worked with Prince Harry to help the crew convert homes in Manchester for military veterans in 2015.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Boxers had been using Dale Youth Boxing Academy just a few hours before the fire took hold in Grenfell Tower last June

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