william-beacon-project

Prince William offers hope to homeless man who shares incredible true story

The Duke of Cambridge visited Nottinghamshire on Wednesday

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of Cambridge has vowed to help a rough sleeper after hearing that his friend accidentally lost his false leg, as he visited The Beacon Project in Mansfield on Wednesday. Prince William, 37, met service-users at the centre, which gives support to the homeless and vulnerable, during a day of engagements in Nottinghamshire.

Ex-serviceman Delroy Carr, 58, was among those whom the Prince spoke to during his visit. Mr Carr, who had his right leg amputated above the knee after drug use 11 years ago, had the Duke laughing as he told him how another centre user, Daniel Walker, lost his prosthetic limb.

After hearing the story, William told Mr Carr that he would personally ensure that his details reached the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) for ex-service personnel. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, visited the state-of-the-art facilities at Stanford Hall in Loughborough earlier this month.

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William chats to centre users at The Beacon Project

William, who is patron of Centrepoint and The Passage, told Mr Carr: "I'll get them the details about your leg, and make sure we pass that on."

Mr Walker, 43, told the Duke how he lost his friend's prosthetic limb, saying: "His [Delroy's] leg from the hospital rubbed and he was getting really bad sores, so I said I'd take it home, put the angle grinder on it and run it down a little bit for you.

"I've gone to work, because I worked as a binman, and I've come back and I've gone [to his partner] 'Babe, where's Delly's leg gone?' She went 'That horrible thing you left in the garage? - it freaked me out, it's horrible'. I said, 'well where is it?', and she went 'Dustbin men took it – your mates came round earlier'. And I went 'oh my God', I've lost Delly's false leg." He added: "He's never had one since - nine years. He's been hopping mad for nine years."

Mr Carr also told how having been homeless for two years, he was now clean and had got into some assisted accommodation at Christmas - through The Beacon Project. After meeting the Prince, Mr Carr, who uses crutches, said: "He's a good man. He seems very genuine and really wants to help."

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William shakes one centre user's hand

The Beacon Project began in 2001 in St. Johns Church, Mansfield when five homeless people came into the church for tea and toast. They now have a dedicated building and serve and care for up to fifty people on a regular basis, providing a welcoming and safe place where those in need can get a hot meal, clean clothes and access to bathroom facilities. They also have access to medical care and drop-in sessions once a week, and to support and help in finding accommodation.

Earlier in the day, William visited Tarmac’s National Skills and Safety Park and met the company’s young apprentices to learn more about their roles and career ambitions, before he officially opened the centre. He watched a demonstration from apprentices learning to resurface a pavement, before taking the opportunity to join in by driving the paver.

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