NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Duchess of Cambridge prepares food at Social Bite cafe in Aberdeen

The Duchess of Cambridge in Aberdeen Image copyright PA Media
Image caption A smiling Catherine helped Matt Thomas make wraps at the charity cafe

The Duchess of Cambridge has helped out at a cafe run by a homelessness charity in Aberdeen.

Catherine - known as the Countess of Strathearn when in Scotland - was at Social Bite.

She spoke to staff and customers at the cafe - which provides jobs to people who have been homeless - about the long-lasting impact of childhood experiences.

It follows her launch of a survey last month on early years development.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Duchess of Cambride spoke to staff and customers over a hot drink

The five-question online survey aims to "spark a national conversation" to help create "lasting change for generations to come", Kensington Palace said.

In the online survey, called Five Big Questions, participants are asked for their opinion on what influences development and what period of childhood is most important for children's happiness.

'Really good fun'

Staff member Matt Thomas, 49, who was homeless five years ago but now works in the cafe full-time, showed the duchess how to make a chicken wrap, joking: "You can come back and help me tomorrow."

They chatted about how Social Bite helped him and others who find themselves homeless.

Mr Thomas said: "She made you feel very much at ease very quickly. She's very interested in you as a person and finding out what your experience is.

"Making the wraps was actually really good fun, having something to do. I make them every day but I think hers was better looking than mine."

He added that given the royal family member's busy schedule it was "just magic" for her "to take time out and speak to us".

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Staff and customers at Social Bite in Aberdeen welcomed the royal visitor on Wednesday

Social Bite, which aims to end homelessness in Scotland, runs five social enterprise cafes and distributes free food to homeless people and those in food poverty.

Earlier on Wednesday, Catherine met young children during a visit to an open farm in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge, known as the Countess of Strathearn while in Scotland, posed for a photograph with members of staff during a visit to the Social Bite cafe in Aberdeen

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites