The Big Issue salesman shook hands with the Duke of Cambridge and invited him to visit his modular home, after telling William that he had heard he had sold the magazine.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Eamon Kelly, 52, on a visit to charity housing organization Jimmy’s Cambridge, which supports people on their journey through homelessness.
Mr. Kelly, who has been selling the Big Issue in Cambridge for 13 years, is one of the first tenants in Jimmy’s modular homes, which first opened in 2020.
Cambridge is one of the first cities in the United Kingdom to explore this anti-homelessness solution, providing small self-contained accommodation for those who want to continue on their path to a fully independent life.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met today with Eamon Kelly (52) (pictured) when they visited the charity housing organization Jimmy’s Cambridge, which helps people on the path of homelessness
Mr. Kelly, a native of Belfast, said to William, ‘I heard you are a seller of large editions?’
The duke replied, ‘Well, I tried.’
Shaking hands with William, Mr. Kelly told him, ‘Well I work for the Big Issue, I sell in Cambridge.’
He then invited William and Kate to their modular home where they talked for a long time.
Afterwards, they talked to those involved in the project about how to deal with homelessness, and when they returned to their waiting Range Rover, William saw Mr. Kelly again.
Eamonn, who had been selling the Big Issue in Cambridge for 13 years, was thrilled when Prince William invited him at the end of their visit to take pictures together.
Mr. Kelly is one of the first tenants in Jimmy’s modular homes, which first opened in 2020. He was delighted to welcome the duke and duchess into his home
“There he is,” cried William.
‘Eamonn, come here, I’ll take a picture with you.
‘Who has your camera?’
Mr. Kelly posed for the photo, standing between William and Kate, thanking them for it.
Speaking afterwards, Mr. Kelly said, ‘They are down-to-earth people, they are very honest, they are interested in you as a person, not your past or future.
‘You can’t be better than these two people.’
Cambridges last visited Jimmy’s in 2012 when they opened a charity hostel.
Mr. Kelly said after the meeting that members of the royal family are sincere and interested in what he has to say and he as a person
Everyone living in one of Jimmy’s modular homes is provided with a significant support system through the charity’s expert team, helping them address issues related to mental health, employment, addiction or reconnecting with families. The picture shows the duke meeting with the residents
Service user Pete Dean, 59, met William and Kate in 2012 and spoke to them again during a visit Thursday.
The Duke said to Mr. Dean: ‘I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since Pete.
‘I was sitting in your room, sitting on your bed and talking about what you’ve been doing in your life.’
After talking to Cambridges in private, Mr. Dean, who now has his own apartment, said: ‘They remembered, it was nice.
Afterwards, they talked to those involved in the project about how to deal with homelessness. Here they are shown with Jimmy’s team members deep in the discussion
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are shown here saying goodbye to Eamonna Kelly in front of his modular home
‘He said he would come and see me for the next 10 years.
‘I had a long conversation with them.
‘They’re really nice people.’
Mark Allan, Jimmy’s CEO, said the visit to Cambridges “means a lot” and that William and Kate are “genuinely interested in fighting homelessness”.
Everyone living in one of Jimmy’s modular homes is provided with a significant support system through the charity’s expert team, helping them address issues related to mental health, employment, addiction or reconnecting with families.
The charity says all of this is vital to ensuring that when someone is in the home, they can stay in it.