June 24, 2024


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Prince William hails Covid ‘heroes’ at Manchester food bank & says ‘the North has had it tough’ on last stop of UK tour

PRINCE William has hailed the nations Covid “heroes” in a speech to food bank volunteers in Manchester.

In the fourth and final stop of the Royal Train Tour, he acknowledged the tough time the North of England has been through in recent months of the coronavirus crisis.

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Prince William speaking during a visit to a Manchester food bank


Prince William speaking during a visit to a Manchester food bankCredit: Getty – Pool

The The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge  are travelling across Britain to thank key workers and local communities for their role in the fight against Covid-19.

They visited FareShare, which redistributes surplus food to 11,000 charities and community groups in across the UK, including to breakfast clubs, community centres, homeless shelters and food banks.

“I know you’ve had a particularly hard time over recent months, as has the whole of the North of England,” he told volunteers.

“I’m really glad we’ve been able to come and talk to some of you in person about how you’ve all been doing.

The Duchess of Cambridge speaking to one of the food bank's staff


The Duchess of Cambridge speaking to one of the food bank’s staffCredit: Getty – Pool
The royal couple arriving at Manchester's Victoria Station


The royal couple arriving at Manchester’s Victoria Station Credit: AFP

“Catherine and I felt that it was extremely important to visit just some of the heroes that have emerged this year to thank you for all that you have done.”

He praised transport workers, paramedics, school teachers and staff and volunteers of organisations such as Fair Share.

“You are the people that have not only kept our country going but have also helped warm all our hearts by showing us the very best of human nature.”

During the first national lockdown the number of families relying on FareShare Greater Manchester for food nearly doubled overnight and charity was inundated with people offering to volunteer.

The royals were serenaded by local musicians


The royals were serenaded by local musicians Credit: Getty – Pool
The Prince praised the 'inspiring' contribution of key workers


The Prince praised the ‘inspiring’ contribution of key workersCredit: Getty – Pool

He said the charity’s work in creating two million meals for the most vulnerable in our society is “truly remarkable”.

“Sadly, given the economic challenges ahead, the generosity of your donors is going to be called on even more over the difficult months ahead.

“But it is inspiring to know that you have risen to the challenge once this year already.

“And in bleak times, and particularly on this very cold December evening, you give us hope about what we can be achieved if we all work together.”

Earlier the royal couple were in Edinburgh where they were serenaded by a bagpipe player as they were greeted at the station.

Rocker Shakin’ Stevens sang to Kate and Will as they boarded the royal train to make their journey north.

They were treated to a performance of Merry Christmas Everyone by Shaky – known as the Welsh Elvis.

The Duke and Duchess met transport workers at London’s Euston Station on Sunday night, and thanked them for keeping trains running during the pandemic.

Day one of William and Kate’s Royal Train tour around the country to thank key workers